SMB Terrence Romeo
Last night, as SMB Terrence Romeo was crushing Terrafirma 131-103 at the PhilSports Arena, something strange occurred on the sidelines.
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Terrence Romeo, who hadn’t played for the Beermen in eight months but was just reinstated, refused to approach the court when his number was called. “Terrence didn’t want to participate,” said assistant coach Jorge Gallent, who was pinch hitting for head coach Leo Austria, who is still subject to the league’s health and safety rules.
There has to be a reason why Terrence, an otherwise fine soldier, would suddenly go sideways, other than stage fright or cold feet, right? Besides, why would a newly activated player pass up an opportunity to shake off any rust in his arsenal by playing against a punching bag like the Dyip and harvest free points and highlights?
There seems to be a method to the madness.
According to a source acquainted with Romeo’s situation, the great player isn’t quite ready to play yet after a lengthy struggle with a herniated disc. When I initially reported about Romeo’s injury last August, his team projected a comeback date of “nine months,” not eight.
SAN MIGUEL’S IMPATIENCE, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS WELL-FOUNDED
The squad pays him “almost P1 million every month” to be in uniform rather than in civilian clothing.
Furthermore, the SMB Terrence Romeo are 5-5 in the standings and are eager for some stability and consistency in an up-and-down conference in which they were defeated by perennial basement dweller Blackwater (109-106) and completely demolished by the Bay Area Dragons (113-87).
According to my source, SMB Terrence Romeo is putting pressure on Romeo to play. If he cannot, a trade may be in the works. There are no “untouchables” in the SMC, with the exception of June Mar Fajardo. Just ask Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot, both of whom are currently playing for mediocre clubs at the bottom of the rankings.
SMB Terrence Romeo is a two-time PBA champion and five-time All-Star. The terms of Romeo’s contract are unknown, but it is thought to be long-term, which is why his name is seldom mentioned among those lured to join the Japan B.League. But he’s also 30 years old, which is a terrible age to be suffering with a back issue. “Once you lose your back, you never get it back,” as the phrase goes in basketball.
In the end, a player’s greatest strength is his availability.
So, if SMB Terrence Romeo is unable to participate, one has to question how much patience San Miguel has left in this tedious waiting game.
The mystery deepens.