IS Terrence Romeo a changed man?
The athletically gifted Far Eastern University star, who some feel is too individualistic for comfort, proved right off the bat that he can play within the team-first concept being espoused by new coach Nash Racela.
The flamboyant guard was a sight to behold in the Tamaraws' 89-78 opening win over University of the East, coming just short of a triple-double in a performance embellished by his 23 points and nine rebounds.
More importantly, Romeo turned an unlikely playmaker for the Tamaraws, issuing 12 of the team's 24 assists in the match - most of them to fellow star RR Garcia.
Romeo, who was suspended by Racela even before the season could start after coming in late for a preseason match, also said all the right things after the game.
“Pinapakingan ko lang sila coach,” said Romeo. “Sabi nila sa akin, sundin ko ‘yung sistema at iinvolve ko muna teammates ko. Tapos pag na-iinvolve ko na sila, depensa naman.”
With the ball moving well for the Tamaraws, Romeo soon found the Warriors' defense easier to dissect with his patented drives and mid-range jumpers.
“Nung nag-start ko na sila ma-involve, lumuwag na ang depensa. Naka-diskarte na ako,” said Romeo.
Racela couldn’t be happier after the win.
“I’m happy that they all co-existed,” said Racela. “I’m happy with my players kasi they understood the game plan.”
“I’m happy for RR. He is playing in his last year and he responded well. Terrence played well today but it was a total team effort for the guys,” he added.
Still, it's too early to judge the Tamaraws after one game.
“It’s a continuous work in progress. You can never be satisfied. It’s just the first game,” said Racela.