TERRENCE Romeo can finally shut down the bashers after capturing his first ever PBA championship when the San Miguel Beermen edged Magnolia Hotshots, 72-71, in the do-or-die finals of the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup.
The championship was extra special for Romeo as it was also his first as a basketball player after settling for runner-up finishes in his two UAAP finals appearances with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
“Ito ang first championship ko simula nang naging basketball player ako, kahit high school, college at PBA D-League days ko,” said Romeo. “May mga critics, bashers na nagme–message sa akin na ako ang magiging malas sa team, na ako ang magiging sumpa.”
“Sa awa ng Diyos, first conference ko pa lang sa SMB ibinigay kaagad sa akin ang title,” he added. “Ngayon, meron na akong championship, sobrang saya ko. Sabi ko sa mga haters ko na nagpo-post sa timeline ko, welcome kayo ngayon.”
Romeo admitted he changed his game when he went to the Beermen at the start of the conference after being known as a heavy scorer when he was still with Batang Pier and KaTropa.
“Natutunan ko na ’yung talent ko pwede kong isantabi para sa championship. Dati umiiskor nga ko ng 30, kaya ko ng 40 points. Pero ngayon na-realize ko na mas masarap maging champion,” Romeo said.
“Nakakatuwa, maraming nakaka-appreciate sa defense ko, pinag-aaralan ko pa ang sistema kung paano ko maia-apply ang talent ko,” he added.
Curiously, it was not just Romeo who attained his first PBA title on Wednesday evening but also Kelly Nabong after four tries, Christian Standhardinger after two attempts and Ilonggo Paul Zamar.
Seldom-used big man Yancy de Ocampo, meanwhile, holds the most PBA titles in Beermen’s roster with 11, followed by Ilonggo Ronald Tubid, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos with eight each.
Bacolodnon Kib Montalbo was the latest player to take his act at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) after agreeing to sign with the Makati Super Crunch ahead of new conference this June.
Super Crunch head coach Pocholo Villanueva confirmed the signing of the former St. John’s Institute-Bacolod standout, who is preparing for his participation in the PBA Rookie Draft later this year.
“We were able to address our weaknesses from last season following the inclusion of new players this offseason,” Villanueva said. “With Kib, he gives us the youth and energy.”
Montalbo, who won two championships with the De La Salle Green Archers, will still suit up with Marinerong Pilipino Skippers in the 2019 PBA Developmental League even with his Super Crunch stint.
Aside from Montalbo, the Super Crunch have also added former PBA players Simon Atkins and Juneric Baloria and Cebuano center Rino Berame.
“With Juneric, we were able to get a player who has experience in the playoffs and an additional gunner. Simon will give us the experience and extra stability at the point guard spot while Berame will definitely provide us the size that we badly needed,” Villanueva said.
The Super Crunch were coming off a quarterfinals stint during their debut conference in the just-concluded MPBL Datu Cup./PN