Romeo plays through strained calf in San Miguel’s series-tying Game 4 win

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Romeo plays through strained calf in San Miguel�s series-tying Game 4 win
Terrence Romeo (7)
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Even though he is not yet 100%, San Miguel guard Terrence Romeo played through the pain and sparked the Beermen in the pivotal Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against the Meralco Bolts on Wednesday. 

Romeo, who has not seen action in the PBA Philippine Cup finals against the Bolts due to a strained calf, suited up for the defending champions. 

In more than 18 minutes of play, he scored seven points, dished out three assists and hauled down a rebound in his first game since May 24. 

The guard revealed that he drank painkillers before the game just to play. 

“My time to heal, the doctor said, is about three weeks. It is not yet three weeks, but I wanted to help the team so even though I will just play for a few minutes, I want to help,” the explosive scorer told reporters in Filipino.

“I just want to help the team win the Finals. I just said that this will be a sacrifice on my end, to help the team in whatever way possible,” he added. 

After the game, though, he felt some discomfort on his leg once again, as he also suffered from cramps. 

“I drank pain relievers before the game and I felt it tighten a while ago. This is the first time I played five-a-side basketball since Game 4 of the semifinals, and this is the first time I went up and down the court,” he stressed. 

He acknowledged being behind in conditioning compared to both teammates and Meralco. 

“I did not know where to get my conditioning, actually. The level of the game is high because their play has been continuous. The game is at a very high level, and I need to chase conditioning, at the same time, I am still feeling my injury,” he added. 

“It is difficult to go through three weeks without 5-on-5 because I was healing up. What I was doing was just shooting, but [I have not been] running up and down the court for defense, because [the injury] is still on my mind.” 

Romeo, meanwhile, said he will observe if the swelling on his calf will reduce in time for Game 5 on Friday. 

Aside from the former Finals MVP, San Miguel also fielded Vic Manuel for the first time in Game 4. 

The bruising forward last played in Game 2 of the semifinals against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, when he played just more than five minutes. 

On Wednesday, Manuel, who “got sick” after the Elasto Painters series, played just seven minutes but produced eight points, two rebounds and an assist. 

Beermen head coach Jorge Gallent lauded the two for their play in the must-win contest. 

“Terrence played well. He played quality minutes and also Vic. I’m really happy with Vic. Even with the minutes, it was only seven or eight, but he really helped us a lot. His quality minutes were really great and he really helped the team in today’s victory,” he underscored. 

“I talked to Terrence and Vic and said that if there’s a chance that I can bring you inside, can you play at least 110%? And they did it today. Very happy that they followed the instructions,” he stressed.

For his part, Meralco’s Chris Newsome admitted they “failed to take advantage” of the presence of Manuel and Romeo on the floor. 

“The fact that they did not really have any rhythm in this series, so that could’ve been an opportunity for us to really take advantage of these guys that haven’t been playing,” he stated. 

“But they’re vets, they showed up to play today so you got to give them credit for that.” 

The crucial 3-2 series lead will be up for grabs as the two squads battle on Friday, 7:30 p.m., at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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