TERRENCE Romeo said he cherishes the moments spent playing alongside mainstays of the Gilas Pilipinas training pool ahead of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship this September.
The 23-year-old GlobalPort star playmaker is the youngest among those who attended practice that started last Wednesday at the Meralco gym and is determined to make the most of the national team experience.
“Happy ako na magiging teammates ko sila kasi mga idol ko sila at alam ko marami akong matututunan sa kanila,” Romeo said in a short chat with Spin.ph.
Expected to be named in the pool on Monday, Romeo also has a great chance to be included in the final lineup bound for Changsha, China in the regional qualifier for the Rio Olympics next year, especially with the scarcity of backcourt men available.
Romeo and Talk 'N Text’s Jayson Castro were the only ball-handlers who attended the first day of practice, forcing assistant coach Jimmy Alapag to join the drills.
The former Far Eastern University combo guard welcomed pointers from both Castro and Alapag, who is expected to come out of retirement after veteran LA Tenorio begged off from playing and the availability of Paul Lee and Mark Barroca remained in doubt.
“(Marami akong matututunan) especially sa guards, si Kuya Jimmy, si Kuya Jasyon, at sa ibang mga beterano na rin,” he said. “Sa lahat, marami akong matututunan kasi sobrang experienced na sila sa international level.”
He tries to apply what he learns from the veteran pair to earn a coveted spot in the official Gilas roster.
“Dream ko ‘to. Matagal na,” the former UAAP MVP beamed.
Before the Fiba-Asia, Romeo already gets the chance to wear the national colors as he takes part in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters this weekend.
“Excited na,” said Romeo, who will team up with Niño Canaleta, Rey Guevarra and Aldrech Ramos in the two-day meet. “Competitive yung laban. Sana maganda yung kalabasan.”