Batang Pier eye Amer, Newsome for Romeo
Terrence Romeo, for so long the face of the GlobalPort franchise in the PBA, is on the trading block, with Meralco showing keen interest in pursuing the national team point guard who earned a special place in the league’s record books after another sterling season.
The Inquirer learned from a highly unimpeachable source that Romeo had asked to be traded during the last Commissioner’s Cup, and that GlobalPort management had opened initial talks with counterparts from Meralco.
Both parties, though, have yet to strike a deal with GlobalPort reportedly asking for Baser Amer and Chris Newsome, a candidate for Most Improved Player last season and the 2016 Rookie of the Year, respectively.
The duo is practically the soul of the Bolts’ backcourt.
Coach Norman Black reportedly doesn’t want to part with Newsome, his player in several champion Ateneo squads in the UAAP and one of his best defensive men together with the veteran Jared Dillinger.
The Inquirer tried to get the comment of Meralco officials to no avail at press time.
Romeo joined all-time greats Ricky Brown and Bogs Adornado as the only players in league history to average more than 20 points in their first four seasons, with the former Far Eastern ace in the UAAP having a 20.3 average.
Brown finished an eight-year career with a 23.1 clip, while Adornado, who played 12 seasons, had a 20.4 average.
During the last Philippine Cup, Romeo poured in 28.2 points a night, the highest scoring average in the last 25 seasons, according to chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Romeo, whose wish to be traded reportedly stems from his desire to play for a championship-caliber team, also led all locals in scoring in six of the last eight conferences.
GlobalPort’s best finish has been a Final Four exit in the Philippine Cup two seasons ago.
One of the architects of that batch, Pido Jarencio, is back calling the shots for the Batang Pier starting the 43rd season that opens on Dec. 17.
Romeo earned a third straight scoring title in the past season after norming 23.3 points a contest that went with an impressive 5.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds.
Amer, meanwhile, showed remarkable improvement in transitioning to the point guard spot last season and will be coming off the best year of his young career, averaging close to 12 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists a contest.
A different source also bared that TNT KaTropa initially sought Romeo but wasn’t willing to let go of former No. 1 Draft pick Moala Tautuaa, a 6-foot-7 power forward whom the Texters are still waiting to blossom into a true force underneath.
That transaction was brought to the table at the end of the Commissioner’s Cup, but TNT immediately shot down the proposal, wanting to let go of small men only.
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