THE current PBA season is already three weeks old, but has anyone wondered where RR Garcia is?
SPIN.ph only learned recently that the former Far Eastern University star guard is without a PBA team after being relegated to the unrestricted free agent list by TNT KaTropa before the season started.
Ironically, Garcia’s fate has been intertwined with his controversial college backcourt partner and rival Terrence Romeo, who was traded by TNT to San Miguel at almost the same time the former was dropped from the regular roster.
On Tuesday, Garcia confirmed the bad news.
“Hindi ako injured. Wala na lang ako talaga sa lineup ng TNT. Desisyon yun ng management, Garcia curtly told SPIN.ph.
“Sa ngayon naghihintay pa ako ng call-up ng ibang teams. Gusto ko na nga ulit lumaro, nami-miss ko na,” added the 29-year old point guard.
Garcia was one of the highly touted players to come out of the UAAP back in 2013, when he was drafted sixth overall by Globalport (now Northport) just behind Romeo.
After a spell alongside Romeo with the Batang Pier, the shifty guard ended up being traded from one team to another with stops at Barako Bull (2014), Star Hotshots (2016), San Miguel (2017) and then Talk n’ Text (2017).
“Ganun talaga kapalaran natin. Hindi mo naman mako-kontrol kung saan ka mapupunta. Swertihan talaga ang basketball. Mahanap mo agad 'yung right team sa iyo, swerte mo. Mapalipat-lipat ka, mag-adjust ka,” said the Zamboanga City native.
Asked if he had a rift with any of his teammates at TNT like what was claimed against Romeo, or if he didn't see eye-to-eye with the new coaching staff led by Bong Ravena and Mark Dickel, Garcia shook his head.
“Hindi, wala ako nakakatalo dun. Go hard nga ako sa practice ng team until sabihan ako na unrestricted na ko. Bago mag start yung season yun,” he said.
While waiting for a call from other PBA teams, Garcia is regularly playing pick-up games with his neighbors at BF Homes Paranaque so he can stay fit.
“Ganun na lang muna. Kailangan maging handa ako, malay mo biglang may tumawag. Okay pa naman ako kasi may live contract pa ko sa TNT, so di ko pa problema masyado ang pinansyal,” said Garcia, whose TNT contract is due to expire in September.
“Pero sana makalaro ako ulit. Gusto ko pa rin patunayan sarili ko.”
Garcia believes that though there is an influx of new and young ball handlers in the PBA, his experience and skills can still be of great value to any team.
He is keeping the faith.
“Kaya ko pa naman sumabay. Break lang talaga hinihintay ko. Bata pa naman tayo. Wag magmadali. Kung ano ihanda ng Diyos sa atin, tanggapin natin,” he said smiling.