TERRENCE Romeo took the PBA by storm in 2013, dazzling the crowd with his flamboyant and unflappable play as a rookie for GlobalPort.
Three years later, another freshman from Far Eastern University is making the same impact in the league.
Mac Belo didn’t take long to show his brilliance as he has been a cut above the rest of his rookie class, putting up substantial numbers for Blackwater early in his pro career.
Asked if he sees himself in the Elite rookie sensation as far as the way they took the league by storm, Romeo believes Belo has even made a bigger impression than he did in his rookie year.
“Nakikita ko (ang sarili ko sa kanya),” Romeo said in a chat with SPIN.ph. “Actually, baka nga mas magaling pa si Belo eh. Kung ako tatanungin, ako ang dami ko pang kailangan idagdag nung rookie year ko. Si Belo, sobrang hinog na niya.”
The numbers don’t lie.
Belo is averaging 17 points on 51.7-percent shooting, 7.6 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals, and just 1.6 turnovers in 35.2 minutes in his first five games to emerge as the early Rookie of the Year frontrunner.
Romeo, for his part, normed 12.4 points, 2.9 boards, and 2.2 assists in 26.9 minutes in his rookie year where he once scored 34 points and just lost to Greg Slaughter in the ROY race.
Romeo cited Belo’s international experience with the Gilas cadets that made him ripe for the pros.
“Sobrang ready na siya sa PBA kaya hindi ko na ine-expect na baka hindi siya makagawa o manibago siya sa PBA,” the Batang Pier superstar said. “Nag-expect na ako na pag pasok pa lang niya, makakapag-perform siya.”
“Alam ko na kaya niyang laruin yung nilalaro niya sa college pag dating sa PBA,” he added of his fellow FEU alumnus.
Both stars flash their brilliance on Wednesday when they meet for the first time in the pros as GlobalPort and Blackwater face off in the main game of a Philippine Cup doubleheader at The Arena in San Juan where Meralco and Phoenix tangle in the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m.