Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was well on its way to celebrate their entry to the 2017 PBA Commissioners Cup semifinals before GlobalPort Batang Pier trimmed their lead down to 12 with about three minutes remaining. The Kings led by as much as 25-points.
To somehow restore order, Ginebra guard LA Tenorio clamped down on GlobalPort star and former Gilas Pilipinas teammate Terrence Romeo. Thing got a bit out of hand at one point when Tenorio and Romeo figured in an altercation that merited technical fouls and the latter’s ejection.
That play saw Tenorio lock Romeo’s arms during a rebound attempt. The Batang Pier guard was caught back-fisting “Tenyente” and eventually resulted in the former’s ejection.
“Natural tendency of a player is to get frustrated,” said Tenorio. “Especially when things are not going well sa team or sa iyo as a player. Yun lang siguro ang nangyari. I was surprised kasi the whole game I was playing honest, playing defense.”
After the incident, Tenorio and Romeo exchanged words and taunted each other. After being slapped a technical and ejection, Romeo had parting words for Tenorio heading towards the dugout.
“Sinasabi lang nya na I kept on complaining. Puro raw ako reklamo,” said Tenorio when asked on what their exchange of words were about. Tenorio was quick to say that he said sorry and he would not get into a fight with Romeo who he respected.
“We have been teammates sa national team. For me lang, he didn’t have to do that. If you are frustrated, that is part of the game. We, as a team, we have so much respect for him as a player and that is why I defended him like that kasi nga respeto. Nagulat lang talaga ako. Di ko alam kung ano tumatakbo sa isip nya.”
In light of the situation, Tenorio’s respect for Romeo as a player did not diminish. He hopes that Romeo would be careful with his actions because basketball fans look up to him.
“Nandun pa rin respeto ko sa kanya as a player. He is an icon. He is an icon sa basketball,” said Tenorio.
Being teammates in the national team, Tenorio said that Romeo considered him as a ‘kuya’ and he was really surprised that Romeo could do such a thing.
“My advice lang as a kuya, nakikinig naman siya sa akin dati – he is a good player, he is a great player, he is a very talented player. A lot of kids, people are watching him as a player kasi icon siya sa PBA. He is one of the faces ng PBA. Dapat ingat siya sa mga ganung mga act. He is not a dirty player kaya nagulat talaga ako.”
Romeo refused to talk to the media regarding the incident.
Ginebra is the second team to enter the semi-finals along with San Miguel and will be challenged by the winner of the quarterfinal between Meralco-TnT KaTropa. (EH)
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