GLOBALPORT star Terrence Romeo learned from their previous collapse and applied the lessons in leading the Batang Pier to survive a resilient Meralco Bolts side, 97-89, in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the MOA Arena.
Coming from a stunning loss to Phoenix, 99-101, where they blew a 26-point lead, the Romeo-led GlobalPort avoided another meltdown as Meralco came charging back from 16 points down to get within one, 71-72, entering the fourth period.
This time, Romeo knew how to deal and kept the Batang Pier steady with some clutch heroics, thanks to lessons from breaking down their collapse to the Fuel Masters.
“Palagi, ‘yun yung topic namin kung paano kami magme-maintain ‘yung lamang namin, tapos hindi na mahahabol,” he said.
“Kasi kagaya niyan, tapos ‘di ba nahabol? Na-sustain lang namin nung mga last minute. Paano kung hindi na naman namin na-ano (na-protektahan ang lamang), ang sakit na naman, di ba?” he added.
Romeo had an all-around effort as he scored 12 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth period, including a clutch floater down the stretch, to go with five rebounds and five assists but was quick to deflect the credit to his coach and teammates.
“Credit sa mga teammates ko at sa coaching staff kasi crucial moments, talagang nag-deliver sila,” he said. “Tapos sa coaches ko rin, nandoon pa rin tiwala nila sa akin sa last minute. Thank God, nakapag-deliver pa rin kami.”
The flamboyant GlobalPort guard particularly lauded Batang Pier newcomer JR Quinahan, who outwit Meralco sophomore Chris Newsome to put the Batang Pier ahead, 95-87, with 31 seconds left in the game. And Romeo ultimately thanked the brains behind the team’s steady play this time, with coach Franz Pumaren on the sidelines.
“Yung last pass kay JR, ‘yun yung crucial eh. Buti nakita ni Stanley (Pringle) na talagang naka-collapse sa akin yung depensa,” he said. “Pero credit kay coach Franz (Pumaren) kasi siya yung nag-set noong play na ‘yun.
"‘Yung mga quick adjustments namin, sa kanya lahat,” added Romeo.