KOY Banal was straight to the point, admitting Barako Bull missed the playmaking of injured RR Garcia in the team’s loss to Blackwater on Friday night in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
Garcia sat out the 116-92 loss after dislocating his right shoulder during the team’s double overtime win over TnT last week.
And without their starting point guard who is playing his best season as a pro (17.1 points, 3.0 rebs), the Energy struggled for form and suffered their worst loss of the season.
“Ininda namin yung pagkawala ni RR. I’m not saying no one can match the ability of RR, kaya lang siyempre mababa yung morale kapag nalaman mong may na-injured sa kasama mo,” said Banal later.
Banal said Garcia suffered the shoulder injury while he was still with Globalport. Unfortunately, he re-injured it when he challenged the jump shot of TnT star Jayson Castro in one sequence of the Energy’s game against the Tropang Texters last December 3.
“Accidents happen, hindi naman natin maiiwasan 'yan,” said the Barako Bull coach.
At the most, Banal said the playmaker out of Far Eastern University will be on the injury list for two weeks but hopeful the former UAAP MVP would be able to suit up in th Energy’s final elimination game against Alaska.
Even with Garcia out of commission, the Energy already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals with a 4-5 card.
Banal mentioned Eman Monfort and Jeric Fortuna as among those capable of filling the void left by Garcia.
“Hindi dapat makaapekto (sa team) yung nangyari kay RR, so I believe we have players who can fill in the shoes na iniwan niya pansamantala,” Banal said.