When Romeo Travis came back to the Philippines, all that he cared about was returning home to the States with a PBA championship in hand.
The 33-year-old was a man on a mission. He badly wanted to win a crown in Asia’s first-ever pro basketball league, since he’d failed in that three years ago, when he was serving a tour of duty with the storied Alaska Aces.
It’s mission accomplished for him now.
Travis had 32 points and 17 rebounds as the Magnolia Hotshots rolled past his former team, 102-86, on Game Six of the Finals, to cop the 2018 Governors’ Cup championship, Wednesday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“I’m very happy. My face might not show it, but I’m very happy,” he said. “It’s just a great feeling to win it with this group of guys. We have a great group of guys. Like I said before, they accepted me as one of their own, and I’m just thankful.
“I can’t say anything else but I’m thankful. I’m thankful for the guys, I’m thankful for Coach Chito, for the coaching staff; everybody who just kept talking to me, kept coaching me up, and kept keeping me calm and all the other things.
“So I can’t say anything, but I’m just thankful,” he added.
The playoffs of the season-ending conference have been difficult for Travis. He’d even played through a hamstring injury during Game Four of the semis versus the Barangay Ginebra.
But he aced the tests, and now he has struck gold.
“It was up and down. A lot of good things happen, but some bad things happened, too. In my life, I’ve noticed that if you stay positive, and you stay upbeat through the bad times, then good things are gonna happen,” he said.
“That’s what I tried to do. Just stay positive, stay upbeat through the bad times. And I knew good times where on their way.”
Travis and the rest of Hotshots are definitely on a high now, but it’s a different story for the Aces. After Wednesday’s defeat, they are now 0-5 in the Finals under head coach Alex Compton.
Travis feels for his brothers, but at the end of the day, it’s all business.
“Like I said before, I wish it wasn’t Alaska. I have a lot of great friends over there, especially Chris Banchero. I really want him to get a championship. Unfortunately, it was against us, so we had to do what we had to do,” he lamented.
“I really want those guys to really do well and succeed, because I do have friends there, and I do wish nothing but the best for those guys. And it would have been easier for me to play against somebody else, against not my old teammates,” he said.
“But you can’t decide these things, and the cards fell where they did, and we just had to do what we had to do.”