After the first practice with his new team, Terrence Romeo came out ready to answer questions surrounding his unceremonious exit from his former team TNT.
He was introduced by San Miguel team governor Robert Non as the "most misunderstood player," a description Romeo accepts.
"For me, that's true because a lot of people, those who hear or read the news from various write-ups, that's what they believe and listen to," Romeo told reporters in Filipino shortly after practice on Thursday. "These people don't see what's the real reason (for his exit at TNT). They don't see the underlying reason. They don't know about it."
Romeo said he is not portrayed accurately in the media.
"Just because some people may say something about my attitude doesn't mean I have to accept or believe what they say. I know myself better and I have a lot of friends who know me personally that I'm not what other people think," he said.
Romeo averaged 21.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in just nine games with TNT in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, where the KaTropa limped to a 4-7 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs. TNT shipped Romeo to the San Miguel Beermen in exchange for Brian Heruela, David Semerad, and the Beermen's first-round pick in 2021. Romeo was a bad fit with the KaTropa for a variety of reasons. The trade that sent him from the Batang Pier to TNT was also accompanied by talk that he had worn out his welcome.
San Miguel is eyeing an unprecedented fifth straight PBA Philippine Cup title when the 2019 season opens on January 13 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Romeo said he is willing to do anything to help the team succeed.
"For me, I want to make my transition easier for them (SMB teammates) and at the same time, I want to be effective when I play with them because I need to jell with them. They are a solid core already," Romeo said.
Coach Leo Austria will have to find a way to add Romeo to San Miguel's deep rotation of veteran guards -- Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, and the returning Ronald Tubid.
"We just want him to work hard and follow the system, and have a good relationship with his teammates because he's a strong player. But we know he cannot win by himself," Austria said.
With San Miguel, Romeo has a chance of winning a PBA championship, something that has eluded him since entering the league in 2013.
Romeo's only success in the pro league was leading GlobalPort to a semifinal finish in the 2016 Philippine Cup where the Batang Pier eventually lost to the Alaska Aces.
ESPN5's Lyn Olavario contributed to this report.