FAR Eastern University star Terrence Romeo swore on Saturday it was only sweat, and not saliva, that he rubbed on the shooting hand of De La Salle's Jeron Teng in a controversial 'wet scene' that took place during their UAAP Final Four game.
“Pawis lang ‘yun, mamatay man ako,” said Romeo in an interview with reporters after he formally received the Most Valuable Player trophy on Saturday.
A video that generated thousands of hits online showed Romeo rubbing his face and his mouth before walking over to Teng and rubbing his hand while the De La Salle sophomore was preparing to shoot free throws late in the Archers' 71-68 win over the Tamaraws last September 25.
[For story and video of incident, see Jeron Teng on 'wet scene' with Terrence Romeo: 'It was really disgusting']
Romeo admitted he pulled off the antic to distract Teng but strongly denied putting saliva in the Archers forward's hand, adding his conscience is clear.
“Sa totoo lang, alam ko si Teng, ayaw niya mag-free throw na nababasa ang kamay. Wala akong intension na duraan o laway… Pero hindi ko po maiiwasan ‘yung ganung mga pananaw. Pero malinis po ang konsensya ko,” said Romeo.
Romeo has come under fire for what many felt was a "disgusting" act, but the flamboyant FEU star said he only pulled off the stunt as an act of desperation.
“At that time po kasi, medyo off ang shooting ko. Pakiramdam ko, lahat ng momentum napupunta sa La Salle. Wala po akong maisip, ang gusto ko lang manalo FEU. Naisip ko na sirain ang laro niya, ‘yun ang pumasok sa akin. Eh pawis lang ‘yun,” he said.
Romeo said that he had already talked to Teng after the incident and even joked about it when they shook hands during the awarding ceremony.
“Nag-usap naman po kami, nagbiro nga siya na punasan muna niya kamay niya,” Romeo said.