GLOBALPORT rookie Terrence Romeo said he is grateful to Sol Mercado for giving him the confidence and taking him under his wings right in his first season in the PBA.
The reigning UAAP MVP earned raves in only his second game as a pro after coming off the bench to score a career-high 34 points in the Batang Pier's 114-100 win over Air21 Express on Saturday.
Unlike the struggling kid who appeared lost in an 87-97 loss to Petron on Wednesday, the former FEU star was a lot more composed this time as he went an efficient 10-of-17 from the field while hitting six three-pointers.
A major reason for the turnaround, Romeo said, was the pointers and confidence given him by Mercado, who he has come to regard as a 'mentor' and big brother early in his pro career.
“Si Kuya Sol, lagi niya akong tinututukan, ina-advise. Na kapag may ginagawa akong di tama, siya nagsasabi sa akin sa practice,” Romeo said after the game.
Romeo, as a result, blended beautifully with veterans Mercado and Jay Washington as he managed to pick his spots on the floor and hit the shots when he's open.
The flamboyant rookie said Mercado and Washington attract so much attention from the defense that the game becomes easier for him.
“Lagi pong naa-attract ni Kuya Sol at Jay Wash ang depensa, kaya medyo lumuluwang po sa akin,” said Romeo, who eclipsed his UAAP high of 33 points in less than a week in the PBA.
“Tingin ko focus lang ako, tapos, lagi ko lang ginagawa ang pinapagawa sa akin ni coach. Ready lang ako sa bench,” he said.