JEROME Garcia gets his derailed basketball career back on track as he is set to play for Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA this season.
The 24-year-old Garcia is now with the Generals, a year after being dropped by Adamson where he led his team in three-point shooting in Season 78 of the UAAP. He considers himself 'lucky' to be eligible to play for EAC this coming season as he nearly didn’t make the enrollment last year.
“Desisyon ni coach Franz (Pumaren) ‘yun kaya kailangan ko maghanap ng bagong team,” said Garcia. “Binwenas pa ako kasi last minute ako nagpunta ng EAC. Actually, May 31 ako dumating. ‘Yung mga players, naka-enroll na. Pagdating ko doon, maganda naman pinakita ko sa tryout so medyo pinalad ako at napunta akong EAC.”
With him eligible for the coming NCAA Season 91, Garcia is now setting his sights on playing for the Generals in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup where his team is one of the 18 squads competing.
“Matagal din ang hinintay ko,” said Garcia.
Garcia said the one-year wait allowed him to adjust well to the system of EAC coach Ariel Sison, who has also given him the green light to do what he does best - shoot from the outside.
“Sobrang ganda rin ng adjustment ko. Parang sa Adamson, maganda ang trato ng coaches ko sa akin at malaki ang tiwala na binibigay nila sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako kay God kasi nagtitiwala ‘yung mga coaches sa akin,” said Garcia, who averaged 8.7 points and once scored 26 for the Falcons in Season 78.
Garcia is joining a solid core of EAC that still has Francis Munsayac, Sidney Onwubere, and Hamadou Laminou, vowing that he will deliver alongside the veteran players of the Generals.
“After practice, nag-eextra shooting ako para kahit papaano, dagdag three-points din sa amin,” said Garcia, who is still eligible to play one more year after Season 93.
“Siguro kapag ginawa namin ‘yung best namin, sinunod namin ang pinapagawa ni coach, magiging maganda ‘yung takbo namin sa NCAA,” said Garcia.