Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Malaysia was the most physical game they have experienced in the tournament so far. There were a lot of hard fouls given, and the box outs were grueling.
After the National Team’s 106-51 win, Terrence Romeo and Raymond Almazan were approached by some of the Malaysian players near center court.
What came next surprised them.
The Malaysians quickly grabbed their smart phones out of their back pockets and took photos with them in a scene reminiscent to what the 1992 Dream Team had experienced in Barcelona, Spain.
Romeo, who has become an icon in the Asian 3×3 scene, was asked by Chee Huei Liaw, Kok Hou Teo, and Yee Tong Heng for a group shot.
“Nagulat ako,” admitted the 25-year-old, who had 12 points and seven assists.
“Sabi pa nung iba sa akin na ako yung idol nila.”
The same happened to Almazan, as Kek Thai Chan took a selfie with him
“Idol niya raw ako, pinapanood niya raw ako,” quipped the 27-year-old, who added 12 points. “Sabi niya, ‘I want to take a picture with you.’ Sabi ko, ‘okay lang.'”
And it was a humbling experience for the two cagers, as they have realized that their influence extends beyond the Philippines.
“Nakakatuwa na kahit taga-ibang bansa, iniidolo tayong mga Pilipino,” Romeo, a two-time scoring champion, reflected.
“Masaya ako na nakakapag-inspire rin ako ng ibang players sa ibang bansa. Sana makalaro ko ulit sila darating pa na panahon.”