RR Garcia is making the most of his new lease on PBA life with Phoenix Pulse.
The shifty guard played the hero's role for his new team on Wednesday night, hitting a wide-open short stab at the buzzer to lead the Fuel Pulse to an 86-84 win over Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Astrodome.
Garcia finished with 14 points in what was easily his best game with the Fuel Masters, who picked him up from the free agent ranks after he went nine months without competitive basketball at TNT KaTropa.
“Masaya ako sa panalo namin lalo na dikitan ang laro. Nakabawi naman ako kasi kung na-shoot ko free throws ko, hindi na aabot sa ganung possession,” said Garcia.
Before his game-winner, the former Far Eastern University guard missed two free throws with 17.2 seconds left that could have iced the game for the Fuel Masters.
Instead, their lead stayed at two points and the Elastopainters were able to tie the game on a jumper by Javee Mocon.
Garcia was taken out of the game by Phoenix coach Louie Alas after the missed free throws, but instead of chewing him out, the veteran coach gave him words of encouragement.
“Hindi naman ako nawalan ng pag-asa. Kinausap din ako ni coach nung nilabas ako. (Sabi niya) kalimutan mo na ‘yung past mo. Dito ka na naglalaro sa akin. Siyempre, ayoko naman i-down sarili ko. Ayun, nakabawi ako,” said Garcia.
Garcia is thankful to Alas as well as Phoenix Pulse management for giving him a second chance in his PBA career.
“Sabi ni coach sa akin, kumpiyansa lang. Sinuklian ko lang ‘yung sinasabi ni coach. Masaya ako nakabalik ako sa PBA dahil sa kanya at sa Phoenix management. Sana tuloy-tuloy,” said Garcia.