AS fate would have it, RR Garcia would be facing his former team when he guns for his second straight PBA championship this season.
Garcia played a pivotal role in TNT KaTropa’s 122-109 victory over Barangay Ginebra Saturday night that sealed the match-up between the Texters and the San Miguel Beermen for the Commissioner’s Cup championship.
Just a conference ago, the point guard from Far Eastern University was savoring his first league title when the Beermen beat the Kings in the Philippine Cup finals, 4-1.
Now, he’s set for collision with the same team that traded him early in the mid-season conference in a one-on-one deal that involved fellow guard Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
Garcia, who contributed 16 points in TNT’s series-clinching win over the Gin Kings during Game 4 of the semis at the Astrodome, said there’s nothing really personal going up against the Beermen with the stakes higher.
“Pagdating sa laro, laro talaga. Pero pagdating sa labas, mga kaibigan ko naman yan,” he stressed. “Friends ko pa naman yung mga players doon at ibang empleyado.”
If ever, he looks forward of enjoying his first finals stint sans any injuries, recalling how he played hurt when the Beermen copped their third straight all-Filipino crown owing to a hurting shoulder.
“Excited ako kasi makakalaro ako at makakatulong ako sa team,” said the Zamboanga native, who only played in two games during the best-of-seven title series against Ginebra. “Siguro enjoy lang.”
He was,indeed a big help to the Texters against the Kings, relieving star player Jayson Castro as his primary substitute off the bench.
“Malaking bagay din para kay kuya Jayson para hindi rin siya mapagod. Kasi pag nilabas siya, ako yung pinapasok,” said Garcia of the ploy utilized by coach Nash Racela, his former mentor at FEU.
“Pag suwerte rin ako minsan sabay kami, so maganda rin para sa kanya.”