Watching the Barangay Ginebra-Globalport game on Thursday is like seeing the future and present collide in the PBA.
There’s Terrence Romeo, the fifth overall pick of Globalport in the draft, showing a lot of promise and confidence while Mark Caguioa, whom he acknowledges as his basketball idol.
And of course, there’s Caguioa, still the face of the Ginebra franchise despite battling through some injuries the past two seasons.
Romeo delivered 27 points, 22 in a fiery second half offensive, including several gung-ho drives against Caguioa himself, which enabled Globalport to battle back from a 21-point, third quarter deficit and into a 93-91 lead, going into the final four minutes of the match.
Caguioa recognized the challenge posed by Romeo, the spike-haired kid out of Far Eastern University.
As the Gin Kings face a potentially embarrassing situation of losing to the Batang Pier, Caguioa delivered one of the most dominant “take-over” game in the PBA’s young season.
The Ginebra star summoned all the guts, strength and experience his 34-year-old body has en route to a virtuoso performance that allowed Ginebra to escape with a 109-104 win.
Caguioa won the bragging rights in his first of the expected many PBA duels with Romeo after finishing 29 points.
“He (Romeo) was so hot. Siyempre, you need to pressure him, eh talagang magaling siya eh saka once a scorer, always a scorer,” said Caguioa. “Kailangan mo lang gawin eh pahirapan mo siya.”
Asked if his scoring burst in the game’s last three and a half minutes was a statement performance in any way, here was Caguioa’s response:
“Siyempre, I’m way older than him. Sometimes, pag akyat mo ng PBA… mga rookies yan eh. At least, i-challenge mo din sarili mo. Di ko naman sinasabing magaling ako, but I’m calling out all the 30-plus year olds, let’s show these kids that we can compete.”
Fans saw what Romeo can do in the country’s highest level of basketball.
I am pretty sure, this young man from FEU will be an established PBA star in the years to come.