IT didn’t show the way Terrence Romeo played how jittery he was playing in his first-ever PBA semifinal game.
The GlobalPort gunner exploded for a new career-high 41 points as the Batang Pier upended Alaska, 107-93, in Game One of their best-of-seven duel at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Romeo highlighted his scintillating performance by going 12-of-21 from the field, including 6-of-10 from three-point range, and had four assists and two steals.
And to think, the former UAAP MVP out of Far Eastern University felt anxious the night before the semis gets underway and just hours before the series opener.
“Hindi naman mawawala yun (jitters). Kailangan mo lang siyang i-handle ng maayos. Huwag kang maglaro dun sa nararamdaman mo. Go with the flow lang,” said Romeo afterwards.
[See Terrence Romeo runs GlobalPort show, scores 41 in Game One romp over Alaska]
Romeo added he also had a hard time sleeping on the eve of the match.
“Hindi ako gaano nakatulog kasi iniisip ko, first time kong mag-semis sa PBA, ano kayang pakiramdam kako.”
It helped that he came early in the venue and tried to relax by being the first player to come out on the floor and practice his shooting.
“Yung kaba, hindi mawawala 'yan. Kaya para mawala, maaga akong nag-shooting,” he said.
And so by the time the game got underway, the GlobalPort combo guard appeared to be more relaxed. He already had 22 points in the opening half as the Batang Pier raced to an early 24-6 lead and never looked back.
Romeo was still four points shy of breaking his career-high of 40 points in the final two minutes until he was sent to the line by Alaska twice to stop the clock. He converted all four free throws to register his new personal record.
The 24-year-old guard said he was aware he’s closing in on breaking the mark, but is not really going after it.
“Nung nag-timeout si coach Pido (Jarencio) nasa 38 na yata ako. Hindi ko naman hinabol, nagkataon lang na na-foul ako,” he said.
But the scoring mark nothwithstanding, Romeo said the most important thing was the Batang Pier won their first ever game in a league semifinal game.
“Ke personal high yan o hindi, ang mahalaga nanalo kami,” he stressed.