STILL IN THE HUNT
Romeo helps GlobalPort chalk up important victory that brightens chances for playoff berth
(Ynares Center, Antipolo)
3 p.m. – NLEX vs Phoenix Petroleum
5:15 p.m. – San Miguel Beer vs Alaska
BIÑAN, Laguna – Terrence Romeo came to the Alonte Sports Center here way ahead of the others for a pre-game shootaround by himself and put all the hurt on the enemy late on Friday night.
The National team point guard hit five of his 26 points inside the final 1:17 and led GlobalPort to a 107-101 nipping of defending champion Rain or Shine as the battle in the lower half of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup’s lower bracket remained muddled up with nine games left in the elimination round.
Romeo forced himself out of a shooting funk by coming in early and taking time to polish his shots, and the biggest one he drained was a high-arching triple from top of the key with 77 seconds left that practically snuffed the fight out of the game Elasto Painters, 101-97.
It was the second straight win in a 4-6 card for the Batang Pier, who remained in the mix for a playoff spot and GlobalPort, at the same time, stalled the advance of the Elasto Painters to the playoffs by dealing Rain or Shine its fifth loss in 10 games.
And the best thing about it is that the Batang Pier hold their fate in their hands.
“We’re still in the hunt, that’s the best thing with this win. And we don’t have to rely on other teams to give us a push,” GlobalPort’s Franz Pumaren said. “At least, we can really play for our destiny.”
Pumaren was referring to their game against San Miguel Beer on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum, and a victory would, by Pumaren’s calculations, shove them into the next round without any complications.
Romeo stepped up big time when import Justin Harper was slapped with a fifth foul in the third period, and winning such a tight game with his reinforcement out for majority of the second half is also a sign that bodes well.
“We showed that we have players capable of stepping up,” Pumaren said. “That would be big in a game against San Miguel.”
Playing in his first game since helping Gilas Pilipinas rule the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship with ease, Romeo actually scored 10 of his total in the last four minutes and led the Batang Pier in rallying from as many as eight points down in the fourth.
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