TERRENCE Romeo dedicated San Miguel’s Game One victory over TNT to Jericho Cruz and RR Garcia on Saturday in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
Romeo had 15 crucial points off the bench in the Beermen’s 80-78 win, earning Best Player of the Game honors right in his first game against the team that traded him prior to the season.
In the post-game interview with ESPN5’s Selina Dagdag, Romeo offered the Game One win not just to his family and friends but also to Cruz and Garcia.
“Binabati ko rin si Jericho Cruz at si RR Garcia. Para sayo ‘to mga tol,” said Romeo.
Garcia was a former player of TNT before being released in the middle of the Philippine Cup, while Cruz was recently relegated to the injury list amid rumors that he was asked by TNT management not to attend practices anymore.
TNT consultant Mark Dickel denied rumors of Cruz's impending exit via trade, saying the former Adamson standout is nursing a hamstring injury.
When asked during the postgame interview, Romeo played coy and said he offered the game to Cruz and Garcia because they are his “best friends.”
“Kasi mga best friend ko sila. Normal lang na binati ko sila. Kaibigan ko kasi si Jericho at si RR. Parang normal lang na pagbati sa kaibigan,” said Romeo.
Here's SMB coach Leo Austria and Romeo in the post-game interview:
Romeo, however, made it clear there was no added motivation to beat TNT, saying he treated Game One of the quarterfinals as a normal game.
“Wala. Pareho lang ng linaruan ko nung playoffs, same lang. Kailangan lang manalo para mag-move forward sa next round,” said Romeo.
Romeo said the series isn’t about him, as the ultimate goal is to win the championship for San Miguel.
“Hindi naman Terrence vs. TNT eh. [It's] San Miguel vs. TNT. Ang goal is manalo kami. Thank God binigay niya sa amin ‘yung panalo,” said Romeo.
Romeo sparked San Miguel’s rally from 12 points own in the third quarter, presiding over a 12-4 run that turned the match around, 72-69.
TNT was able to recover but June Mar Fajardo took over in the endgame.
“Sabi lang ni coach, laruin namin ‘yung game namin at i-execute namin ‘yung game plan namin. Pag na-execute ‘yung play namin, marami kaming nakukuha,” said Romeo.