Terrence Romeo ‘blessed’ as selfless play leads to 1st Finals MVP award
MANILA, Philippines—Terrence Romeo was already a bonafide star even before he arrived in San Miguel but even his first championship with the team couldn’t truly blow away the dark cloud that hovered over him.
Despite his talent, Romeo was reduced to a bench role in the mighty Beermen’s rotation during their Philippine Cup triumph.
Romeo, however, blossomed into his own and helped lead the Beermen to the Commissioner’s Cup championship against TNT in six games.
The three-time scoring champion became the first Finals MVP to come off the bench since Larry Fonacier achieved the feat in the 2012 Philippine Cup.
Romeo, who’s sacrificed major minutes and touches on his way to the individual honor, said it’s the team’s collective unselfishness that helped him become a more mature player.
It was quite the turnaround for the enigmatic guard.
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“For me, I’m just blessed that this happened, because any one of us could’ve won this,” said Romeo in Filipino after San Miguel’s 102-90 title-clinching Game 6 win Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I’m just lucky to have won this award.”
Romeo who averaged 14.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in the six games, including a phenomenal 29-point performance in the pivotal Game 2.
Marcio Lassiter’s unfortunate MCL sprain in his left knee in the quarterfinals against NorthPort, which left San Miguel’s main guard him sidelined for six weeks, opened a lot of opportunities for Romeo.
And he got more than that from Lassiter.
“We’re always beside each other in the bench and we’re always talking with each other,” said Romeo. “He’s always telling me to play my own game, I’m asking him what can I do on the defensive end and how to be more effective.”
“Kuya Marcio and I are always exchanging opinions.”
As for playing against his former team, Romeo said that he has nothing but respect for the club that he played for before he became a Beerman.
Romeo was traded to San Miguel in December of 2018 for David Semerad, Brian Heruela, and the Beermen’s first round pick in the 2021 Rookie Draft.
“I don’t have any hard feeling toward TNT, I have lots of friends there and we’re all thinking of becoming a champion,” said Romeo, who played less than a season with the KaTropa.
“Huge respect for TNT because the guys in that team were exceptional this series and ever since the eliminations we’ve always had respect for them.”