AFTER the graduation of leaders Sidney Onwubere and Francis Munsayac from Emilio Aguinaldo College, the leadership spotlight has now been vested on Jerome Garcia.
But rather than stressing himself to make up for what the Generals lost in the offseason, the 25-year-old is just looking to settle in his new role this coming NCAA Season 94.
“Sobrang laki ng in-adjust ko kasi iniisip ko pa lang yung role ko ngayon as a veteran, sobrang hirap na. Wala na yung dati naming leaders kaya sabi ko ita-try ko maging leader sa team na ito. Pero hindi ko naman kailangang mapantayan yung ginawa ni Munsayac o Onwubere. Gusto ko lang i-level yung sarili ko for my last year,” he said.
Garcia averaged 13.1 points on a 30-percent shooting from threes, to go with 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists last season, and though he wants to up those numbers for EAC this year, his focus is more on leading the Generals to their first-ever Final Four appearance.
“Yung goal ko talaga ngayon is to make it to the Final Four,” he bared. “Syempre ang daming nawalang players sa EAC, so sana ito na yung time para makapag-Final Four kami at para maganda ang maiwan kong legacy dito sa EAC.”
Since joining the league in 2009, EAC has never made it to the postseason, though it came close numerous times with the latest being last season’s 7-11 finish.
Garcia wants to change that narrative this time.
And in his mind, what favors the Generals will be the team’s chemistry as he sees this batch as the most united group he’s ever been in.
“Siguro pag nabuo na kami, yun nga yung sinasabi ni coach Ariel (Sison) sa amin na mas magiging maganda ang team namin pag nakumpleto na kami,” said Garcia. “Maa-assure ko lang na ito yung team na magsasama-sama kami. Lalaban kami ng buong team, walang hihiwalay sa bilog na binubuo ni coach Ariel dahil lahat kami solid.”