Terrence Romeo. File Photo
MANILA, Philippines – Former UAAP Most Valuable Player (MVP) Terrence Romeo is not surprised that Far Eastern University (FEU) continues to experience success in the UAAP even after he and other top guard RR Garcia left the Tamaraws.
Romeo won the MVP award in Season 76 and led the Tamaraws to the Final Four, where they lost to eventual champions De La Salle University. He later announced that he will forego his final playing year and declared for the PBA Draft, where he was taken with the fifth overall pick by GlobalPort.
For the first time since he left the team, Romeo watched an FEU game on Saturday, a thrilling contest that saw the Tamaraws escape with a 75-69 victory over the hard-fighting UP Maroons.
"Nandodoon pa rin 'yung excitement, kasi siyempre galing ako diyan, galing ako sa FEU. Masaya ako na napapanood ko 'yung mga dati kong teammates na maganda 'yung nilalaro, maganda 'yung tinatakbo," he said.
The win over UP kept FEU at the top spot of the league standings with a 9-2 record, and allowed the Tamaraws to clinch at least a playoff for a Final Four spot.
Asked if he was surprised to see the Tamaraws playing splendidly even with both himself and Garcia no longer with the squad, Romeo quickly said he wasn't.
"Hindi. Kasi nakuha na nila 'yung chemistry sa isa't isa," he said. "Nakuha na nila 'yung role ng isa't isa, so hindi na ako nagulat doon."
"At ssaka 'yung mga coaches – sila Coach Nash (Racela), sila Coach Eric (Gonzales), sila Coach Johnny (Abarrientos) – sobrang napatakbo nila 'yung team, sobrang na-disiplina nila 'yung team ng mabuti, kaya ang ganda ng tinatakbo," he added.
Romeo is likewise not surprised to see his former teammates Mike Tolomia and Mac Belo shine this season. Both Tolomia and Belo were role players when Romeo and Garcia were leading FEU's charge, but they have now taken center stage for the Tamaraws this season.
"Noong nasa FEU pa ako, talagang andiyan na 'yan eh. Andiyan na 'yung talent ni Mike, andiyan na 'yung talent ni Mac Belo," said Romeo.
"Para sa akin, ang masasabi ko, hindi nakakagulat kasi alam ko na agad na kaya nila gawin 'yun. Alam ko sa sarili ko na kaya nila gawin 'yun, alam ko na kaya nila mag-perform," he added.
Romeo now hopes that the Tamaraws can play with consistency up until the Final Four, something that they have had trouble with this season.
"Sana maging consistent sila kasi ibang level na pagdating ng playoffs," he said. "Para sa akin (sana) matuloy-tuloy nila hanggang playoffs, kasi sobrang ganda nan g nilalaro nila. Sana matuloy-tuloy."