Romeo explodes as GlobalPort ousts Barako in Yuletide tiff

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Terrence Romeo put on a show on Christmas night as he towed GlobalPort to a 94-85 victory over Barako Bull at the start of the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Romeo sizzled in the third quarter and delivered dagger triples in the fourth as the Batang Pier, who have a twice-to-beat advantage, immediately eliminated the Energy in the first round of the knockout stages.

Barako, needing to win to stay alive in contention, actually had a good start, racing to a 48-41 lead at halftime.

But Romeo led GlobalPort's 28-16 third quarter to take a 69-64 advantage.

The Energy tried to stay close at the opening stages of the fourth, but the Batang Pier scored three triples, two from Romeo, to pull away for good.

Romeo finished with 33 points, the fourth-most all-time in a Christmas Day game, nine rebounds, five assists, and one steal for GlobalPort, which will take on the winner of the Star-Ginebra series in the knockout quarterfinals. Star and Ginebra are to face each other later Friday.

Willie Wilson tallied 15 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and a block for Barako Bull.

Box Scores:

GlobalPort 94-Romeo 33, Pringle 15, Washington 9, Mamaril 8, Jensen 7, Sumang 6, Yeo 6, Kramer 4, Maierhofer 4, Semerad 2, Hayes 0, Isip 0, Uyloan 0

Barako Bull 85-Wilson 15, Monfort 12, Urbiztondo 12, Intal 11, Pennisi 9, Baracael 8, Brondial 8, Fortuna 4, Lanete 4, Sorongon 2, Caperal 0

Quarterscores: 21-25, 41-48, 69-64, 94-85

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno