DESPITE talking trash with Terrence Romeo and engaging him in a physical skirmish all game long, Rain or Shine gunner Paul Lee said he high respect for the GlobalPort sophomore guard.
Lee admitted that the Elasto Painters may have underestimated the 22-year-old GlobalPort rising star, who gave Rain or Shine a giant scare on Friday with four three-pointers in the final three minutes.
“Challenge iyan sa buong team na every time makakalaban namin siya (Romeo), eh kung paano siya mai-stop. Dapat talaga pagtutuunan siya ng pansin (on defense), kasi kung one-on-one, mahihirapan talaga sa kanya,” said Lee after the Painters' 104-98 victory.
Lee led the Elasto Painters with 25 points, just four points short of Romeo’s personal conference-high 29 points, in a shootout between two of the league’s high-scoring guards.
The six-foot Rain or Shine combo guard later likened Romeo to Meralco veteran guard Gary David during his peak years - a gunner capable of scoring threes in bunches when he catches fire.
“Parang nakikita ko siya (Romeo) na Gary David 'nung Powerade, kasi kapag uminit, tuloy tuloy, di mo ma-stop,” he said. “Left and right, konting space lang, three-points na, di mo ma-stop.”
The former University of the East star also dismissed his physical skirmishes with Romeo, saying it’s all part of the game.
“Gusto namin parehas 'yun (physical plays). Maganda din sa fans dahil kita talaga nagko-compete sa isa’t isa, pero after the game, sabi ko lang, ‘Good game,' saka sabi ko, ‘Galing mo talaga. Nag-enjoy ako,’” said Lee.
“'Next time uli,' sabi niya,” Lee added.
On other hand, Romeo explained that his take-charge mentality in the final period was fueled by his desire to help the team win, and not necessarily because he was trying to prove a point against Lee.
“Ayoko magpatalo eh. Siyempre, sa basketball, normal yung pisikalan, walang personalan, saka sa game lang 'yun,” said the 22-year-old Romeo.
However, Romeo said he has no intention of merely showing off what he can do in the game, saying the whole GlobalPort team needs to improve collectively on defense.
“Siyempre, sa defense din namin kailangan mag-improve, kasi nakaka-shoot nga kami, pero pagbalik namin, nakaka-shoot din ang kalaban namin, so di lang dapat puro scoring,” he added.