Terrence Romeo, now with TNT KaTropa, will face his old teammates in the now retooled GlobalPort, as the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Commissioner’s Cup unfolds today at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier and the KaTropa will clash in the 6:45 p.m. second game while Blackwater and Columbian Dyip, formerly known as Kia, collide in the 4:30 p.m. first game.
Romeo, the league’s top scorer who averaged 23.3 points for the past three seasons, was traded to TNT with big man Yousef Taha in exchange of former top overall pick Moala Tautuaa.
GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio said that his players, headed by returning import Malcolm White, are all itching for action.
“We are excited and ready to play. With new players in our first game, we want to start our conference positively,” said Jarencio, who will be relying on White who posted an average of 21.8 points, 14.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in five games of the Commissioner’s Cup last year.
The arrival of Tautuaa will fortify the frontline of the Batang Pier manned by big men Bradwyn Guinto and Kelly Nabong. Besides Tautuaa, GlobalPort also recruited playmaker Jeff Viernes to fill in the position vacated by Romeo.
But last year’s finalist TNT boasts of improved capabilities with the acquisition of Romeo and former Rain or Shine swingman Don Trollano. The two are expected to blend well with Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes, Jericho Cruz and Troy Rosario.
“New guys, new team. Still working on chemistry. But we will have to find ways to get a win tomorrow (Sunday),” said TNT coach Nash Racela, who will parade import Jeremy Tyler.
Blackwater will be led by import Jarrid Famous when it takes on Columbian Dyip reinforced by import CJ Aiken.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone announced that import Shane Edwards was replaced with the 6’10 import Charles Garcia who arrived Saturday night.
They made the decision after learning that the 7-footer Greg Slaughter is still nursing a sprained ankle.