RR Garcia is already looking forward to suiting up in the mid-season PBA Commissioner’s Cup in a bid to complete an unfinished business.
The Barako Bull guard is currently rehabilitating a right shoulder injury which he dislocated in the team’s game against TNT in the eliminations of the Smart Bro-Philippine Cup.
Garcia didn’t play in the Energy’s final four games including their quarterfinal match-up against Globalport which Barako lost to bow out of contention in the all-Filipino tournament.
The former Far Eastern University star said he would have wanted to see action in the team’s Christmas Day game against the Batang Pier, but decided against it as his injured shoulder was still hurting.
“Ayaw ko namang pilitin, (baka lalong lumala),” said Garcia, who turns 26 a few days from now. “Definitely, next conference na. Pahinga lang muna ako habang pinapalakas ko ito (shoulder).”
Until he hurt his shoulder – while trying to guard TNT’s Jason Castro – Garcia was going great guns for Barako, averaging 17.1 points per game, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in the eight games he played in the eliminations.
He already had 22 points in the game against the Tropang Texters by the time he re-injured the same shoulder he hurt while still with GlobalPort. The Energy went on to win the game in overtime, 105-98.
In his absence, Barako lost three of its last four games, including its quarterfinal match against the Batang Pier, 94-85.
Coach Koy Banal acknowledged the loss of Garcia was a big blow to the Energy’s playoffs chances.
“Alam natin ‘yung 17.0 points niya, ibang klase, and of course, his smartness,” acknowledged the Barako Bull mentor. “He will give them a headache somehow.
“I’m not saying Eman Monfort and Jeric (Fortuna) can’t be like that. Pero ibang klase kasi ‘yung numbers ni RR. He’s attracting everybody. Iba yung nawala sa amin.”
Garcia and his family spent the remainder of the holiday season in Baguio City, but said he’ll start picking up a basketball again once the team resumes its practice for the new year.
“Hindi nga ako masyadong nagkakakain (during the holidays), kasi ang hirap tumaba, lalo at walang practice,” he said. “Sasabay na rin ako once mag-resume (kami) ng practice.”
Notwithstanding his injury, Garcia felt Barako really did well in the all-Filipino conference despite people counting the Energy out during the offseason.
“Maganda ang pinapakita ng team, kinapos lang talaga,” he said.
Hopefully, the same thing won’t happen in the second conference.