MANY experts said that after Allan Caidic there has been a lack of great shooters in Philippine national teams to international competitions.
That may have been true before, but not anymore with the way Terrence Romeo has been hitting his outside shots in Gilas Pilipinas uniform. The latest examples are the Philippines’ twin victories in the Fiba Asia Cup.
Thanks in large part to Romeo’s heroics the Philippine squad staged a masterful 96-87 upset of powerhouse China and secured outright passage to the quarterfinals with an 84-68 demolition of Iraq.
Unlike Caidic who is deadly as a catch-and-shoot scoring threat Romeo likes to create his own shots off the dribble like Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
Romeo in fact patterns his game after Curry almost completely including the pre-game drills and ritual of dribbling two balls at the same time.
Romeo made a dazzling dribbling display to elude the Chinese defenders and showed unerring outside shooting for crucial points. He drilled a triple to tie the count at 87-all in the final four minutes. He then hit a fadeway and another back-breaking triple to pad the Philippines’ lead, 92-87.
Standhardinger and Matthew Wright finalized the count for the Philippine squad.
Romeo scored 14 points in final frame and eight of the team’s last 12 markers. He finished with 26 points and scored the crucial baskets in the fourth. He also had four assists and was blistering hot from three-point distance converting five of his seven attempts.
It was a sweet victory for the the Philippine squad which avenged the 2015 loss to China in the Fiba Asia Championship.
The Philippines again leaned on Romeo’s outside sniping to beat Iraq. Romeo sparked a third-quarter surge to power Gilas Pilipinas past Iraq to claim group’s top seed.
Romeo sizzled with 11 third-quarter points to power the Gilas surge to break the game wide open in that period.
Scouted well Romeo was held to just three points on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half. But he found his rhythm and exploded for 11 points in the third quarter to turn a slim 32-31 advantage at halftime into a full-blown rout.
Two free throws capped a 24-4 explosion by the Philippines that pushed the squad to a daunting, 56-35, lead.
Romeo led the squad in scoring 17 points off three triples. He also had four assists, two rebounds and one steal in just 21 minutes off the bench.
It’s probably safe to say that Romeo will easily fill that need for an outside shooting threat for the Philippine national basketball team to be credible challengers in international competitions.