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Terrence Romeo finds redemption



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Terrence Romeo finds redemption Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Terrence Romeo Gabe Norwood 2017 FIBA Asia Cup

Less than two years ago — 676 days from last Wednesday to be exact — Filipinos were feeling robbed of an Olympic spot during the 2015 FIBA Asia Cup final in Changsha, China.

Many stories have been told about that fateful October night about how fellow-finalists China had been “ungracious” hosts. From a delayed bus ride to the venue, to SBP officials having a hard time securing their tickets, to changing the nets during the official warm-up, the odds were stacked against Gilas even before tip-off.

And then there was the officiating that drew widespread criticism from local and international pundits alike.

With all these obstacles, Gilas could not overcome China, 67-78, denying the Philippines that elusive Olympic spot.

Fast forward to the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, fate had intervened, as the draw for the pool stage grouped the two together to open the tournament. However, out of the 12 players who played for that team, only four remained for this batch of Gilas; Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva, and Terrence Romeo.

“We all know the tactics that went on in that host situation,” recalled Norwood after being called to duty once more last July 26.

“But [on] neutral ground [in Lebanon], [it] should be exciting.”

But as the days to the grudge match drew closer, the excitement slowly turned into anticipation.

With less than 24 hours left before the highly-anticipated match-up, even roommates Norwood and Romeo hardly talked to one another, as both were laser-focused on avenging the heartbreak in Changsha.

“Kami ni Kuya Gabe sa umaga, bumabati pa kami ng ‘good morning’ sa isa’t isa. Pero kanina, halos hindi na kami nagpansinan,” Romeo shared to Sports5.

Romeo, who finished with nine points during the 2015 Asia Cup final, had been looking forward to this day since the PBA cleared the players for the continental meet.

“Nung tinawag ako para mag-represent ulit ng bansa at nalaman ko na first game is China, wala akong sinayang na oras,” added the two-time PBA scoring champion.

“Pinasok ko sa isip ko na never akong matatakot sa kanila, never akong magdududa sa kakayahan ko.”

And fearless he was.

Down 84-87 with 4:04 left, Romeo took over, scoring eight straight points punctuated by a trey from the top of the arc to lift Gilas to a 92-87 with 2:03 to go.

Sabi ko na lang sa sarili ko, hindi ako papayag na masayang lahat ng preparation naming para sa game na ‘yon,” Romeo, who finished the 96-87 win with 26 points, told Sports5’s Jutt Sulit.

“Willing akong tanggapin kung ako ‘yung dahilan kung bakit matatalo. Basta ‘pag mabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na ipanalo naman ‘yung team, gagawin ko yun sa abot ng makakaya ko.”

Though this victory will not completely erase the pain of Changsha, at the very least Romeo and this batch of Gilas found redemption to move forward in this new chapter for Gilas Pilipinas.

Photos from
Quotes from Terrence Romeo fulfills promise to come back better against China