AFTER a PBA All-Star Weekend performance that saw him score a combined 80 points in the North vs South and Rookies vs Sophomores games and hit 36 three-pointers in all on the way to winning the Shootout, Terrence Romeo is no doubt the toast of the PBA.
To cap off a memorable weekend in Puerto Princesa, the flamboyant GlobalPort sophomore was all but annointed by Purefoods superstar James Yap as the next 'PBA poster boy' and, according to sources, sized up by national coach Tab Baldwin for possible inclusion in the next Gilas Pilipinas pool.
But before Romeo fans get carried away on the possibility of the rising star soon wearing the national tri-color, there's one question begging to be asked?
Can Romeo fit in?
There's no doubt, of course, that Romeo can score. The former UAAP MVP from Imus, Cavite in fact is the 10th leading scorer in the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup with a 21.88-point average for GlobalPort. The nine men ahead of him in the scoring ladder are all imports.
KG Canaleta said there is no doubt Romeo is a phenomenal scorer, as seen from their time together in the Fiba-Asia and Fiba world 3x3 championships.
The kid may not be tall, but he has a big heart, Canaleta said.
“Medyo maliit lang talaga siya, pero may shooting at puso siya. Saka advantage niya mabilis siya at mabilis mag-dribble, quickness talaga ang upside niya,” said Canaleta.
“Pero sa international, malalaki ang kalaban eh. Mga six footers pataas. Sa 3X3 namin 'nun effective siya, sumikat nga siya dun eh,” he added.
Canaleta, however, is concerned Romeo's height can be a disadvantage in the 5-on-5 international game.
“Maliit kasi siya, baka panggigilan siya ng mga kalaban. 'Yun nga lang may shooting talaga siya, kaso pag-five-on-five na, baka bugbugin ng mas malalaki 'yan dun,” said the NLEX forward.
Another former national player, Cyrus Baguio, said Romeo - listed generously at 5-11 - may be too small for the '2' position in tournaments overseas but will be more effective if he shits to the point guard spot.
Also, Romeo may need to be more discerning with his shot selection, he added.
“Medyo shooting heavy siya eh tapos maliit siya kung shooting guard lalaruin niya dahil sa international (tournaments), malalaki ang players,” said Baguio, a member of the 2009 Fiba-Asia team coached by Yeng Guiao.
“Tingin ko dapat bumaba sa point guard si Terrence kasi magaling naman siya magdala ng bola saka mabilis at shifty. So dapat kung ganun at kukunin nga siya sa Gilas, dapat mag-aral siya ng pasa,” he added.
Baguio also believes Romeo should take advantage of his shooting and passing prowess more than his one-on-one skills in international basketball.
“Adjust talaga siya sa point guard at pagpasa, kasi hindi pwede roon ang sasaksak ka ng sasaksak, kasi kami noon pati sila Jayson (Castro) ngayon, makikita mo hirap umatake kasi ang lalaki ng kalaban,” said the Alaska star.
“Kailangan sa height niya saka sa guard natin, shooting sa labas. Hindi pwede roon ang one-on-one lagi. Kung mag-a-adjust sa uno si Terrence kaya niya kasi mabilis siya eh, mahusay magdala ng bola,” he added.