Terrence Romeo knew he had had to accept a smaller role when he joined the San Miguel Beermen for this season. Romeo, a three-time scoring champion, would not get as many touches on a loaded team led by reigning five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.
But now Romeo is a champion.
While it was San Miguel's 26th title overall, it was Romeo's first. Romeo, known more for being a prolific scorer, finished his high school and college stints only with individual awards.
"I'm overwhelmed with joy. I can't express how I feel now," said Romeo after Wednesday's 72-71 victory over Magnolia in Game 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Romeo is not the only San Miguel player to hoist a championship trophy for the first time. Christian Standhardinger, drafted by the Beermen in 2017, and Kelly Nabong got their first title.
"Nope. It's my first championship ever in life. First one. First career championship from high school. Never went to college but it's my first one ever," center Kelly Nabong said.
Standhardinger credited Fajardo, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and former MVP Arwind Santos for the championship.
"It feels amazing. I'm very happy we made it. June Mar did a great job, the starting five did a great job and I hope we keep this up next conference," said Standhardinger, who
Romeo also felt a sense of vindication after futile seasons with GlobalPort (now NorthPort) and TNT KaTropa.
Romeo is a polarizing figure and was often told he would never win a championship.
"My haters tell me on social media I won't win a championship as talented as I am as a player," he said.
Now, Romeo, Standhardinger, and Nabong want to do it all again.
"Looking for more. There's only one under my belt. The company has more than one. I just want to be a part of it and add to the collection," Nabong said.