PBA: Romeo, Nabong cherish first championship

By Kevin Sox

The long, 13-year combined wait for PBA veterans Terrence Romeo and Kelly Nabong finally came to an end when the powerhouse San Miguel Beermen stormed past the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in Game 7 earlier this week to claim the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup championship.

It was the fifth straight all-Filipino title for the Beermen’s dominant dynasty which has featured the likes of Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, and five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo.

Terrence Romeo of San Miguel Beer (PBA Images)
Terrence Romeo of San Miguel Beer (PBA Images)

But for Romeo, the 5th overall pick of the 2013 PBA draft, it was a first in his career filled of controversies and side stories – a fitting stamp on his basketball resume to prove everyone wrong.

“I’m overwhelmed with joy. I can’t express how I feel now,” said Romeo to ESPN5.

Even Nabong, the journeyman who has switched squads every two years and is perhaps more known for his role in brawls now immortalized on YouTube, will finally get to change his reputation by being a PBA champion.

“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,” the back up big man said to ESPN5.

Nabong was the 17th overall pick of the 2012 PBA draft. Last year, he landed with the Beermen following a trade for Gabby Espinas and a future pick.

The two go a long way, having both played for the Globalport Batang Pier franchise.

“Me and Terrence go a long way back with GlobalPort when he was still a rookie. We always talk about this at Global. Finally, it came true,” said Nabong to another online source.

Romeo and Nabong have had their fair share of criticisms, and both can now put an end to those who keep calling them out throughout their interesting careers.

“My haters tell me on social media I won’t win a championship as talented as I am as a player,” said Romeo.

“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,” added Nabong.