TNT coach counting on RR Garcia to step in once Jayson Castro is called up by Gilas
RR Garcia is expected to step into the point guard position at TNT KaTropa once Jayson Castro is called up to the Gilas team. Jaime Campos

MORE than a reunion, Nash Racela hopes RR Garcia's arrival at TnT Katropa would address a pressing need for the team.

Racela said TNT management is banking on the former Far Eastern University standout to step up and serve as chief reliever of overworked guard Jayson Castro at the backcourt.

Garcia came on board on Monday when the PBA Commissioner's Office approved the one-on-one trade with San Miguel that also involved third-year guard Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.

"I hope it gives us the back-up that we need for Jayson," said Racela, hours after the trade was consummated. "At the same time, we also need someone who could step up when Jayson is with Gilas."

[See SMB sends Garcia to TNT for Ganuelas-Rosser in rare trade between rivals]

Racela certainly knows what he's talking about.

Racela handled the 28-year-old Garcia during the final year of the Zamboanga native at FEU - a season that ended with the Tamaraws reaching the Final Four in Racela's first year with the team.

The TnT coach admitted it was hard pulling the trigger on the trade - and harder to let go a player in the mold of Rosser.

"He's very coachable and a very good teammate," he said of the Fil-Am guard.

But it's a move the Texters had to make if they are to move into the next level, Racela added.

Racela said he personally talked to Garcia after the trade was sealed, and the Texters will formally welcome their new teammate by Thursday when the team resumes practice after a three-day break.

The Texters are coming off a 107-89 loss to Barangay Ginebra Sunday night and fell to a 5-2 record in the Commissioner's Cup going to the All-Star break.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos