Romeo back in fiery form
PARIS – San Miguel Beer PBA governor Robert Non was all smiles when he heard that Terrence Romeo scored 27 points in 38:15 minutes in a PBA On Tour game against Phoenix at the Ynares Arena, Pasig last Wednesday and said negotiations should start soon to renew his contract which expires in August. Non was on a flight from Manila to this French city during Romeo’s eruption and got the news upon arriving here to attend the PBA Board of Governors planning/review meeting at the Hotel Warwick.
Romeo, 31, played only eight games last season, none in the Philippine Cup, seven in the Commissioner’s Cup and one in the Governors’ Cup as he struggled to recover from a nagging hamstring injury. He planned to play for San Miguel in the EASL Champions Week in Japan last March but was advised to sit out. Romeo kept busy rehabbing to get ready for next season and passed his first test with flying colors in the Phoenix contest although San Miguel dropped a 106-101 decision. Non said June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Vic Manuel and CJ Perez are taking time off to rest during the tour which will allow pickups John Apacible, Marvin Lee, Jason Opiso, Chester Saldua, Leo de Vera and Noy Baclao to display their wares.
Romeo’s reemergence was eye-popping. He took 25 percent of San Miguel’s total field goal attempts, hitting 12 of 23, including three of six from beyond the arc. Romeo also compiled five rebounds and seven assists. His timing couldn’t be better with his contract set to expire in a few months.
Meralco governor Atty. Bill Pamintuan joined the Board in his first overseas trip with the league. In a sideline conversation, he spoke about the Bolts’ recharge with new head coach Luigi Trillo at the helm. Coaching consultants Nenad Vucinic and Norman Black are actively supporting Trillo. “The workouts have been intense,” noted Pamintuan. In Meralco’s first tour game, the Bolts defeated NorthPort, 97-89, without Chris Newsome and Aaron Black. Newly-acquired Norbert Torres had 10 points and eight rebounds in 23:45 minutes while pickup Jeffrey Manday went scoreless in 10:49 minutes. Allein Maliksi showed the way with 21 points.
Alvin Pasaol started for Meralco and appears determined to welcome the next season in tip-top shape. There’s a clause in his contract that stipulates a graduated fine system if he weighs over certain thresholds every month. Pasaol steps on the scales every week and his average weight is computed for the monthly reckoning.
Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua said the Board has approved the PBA’s participation in the inaugural EASL home-and-away season starting Oct. 11. Governors’ Cup champion TNT and runner-up Ginebra will represent the PBA in the eight-team competition to climax in a Final Four in Macau next year. Chua said Justin Brownlee will team up with a second import for the EASL tournament. “The other import will be a big man,” mentioned Chua.
The EASL season will coincide with the PBA Commissioner’s Cup where each team is allowed one import with a height limit of 6-9 and under (compared to the previous limit of under 6-10). The new PBA season will begin Oct. 15. PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, representing TNT, confirmed that Rondae Hollis Jefferson will be back as the Tropa’s import in the Commissioner’s Cup.
A list of candidates for Jefferson’s import partner is now being reviewed by interim head coach Jojo Lastimosa. Bay Area will also be back to play in the conference and there are plans to hold six of the Dragons’ elimination round games in Macau.