FAR Eastern University's RR Garcia has denied that he has a long-standing feud with Terrence Romeo as he praised his fellow Tamaraws star's transformation from a 'solo' act to a team player.
Garcia said the flamboyant Romeo has finally understood the value of playing in a team concept under new FEU coach Nash Racela, adding he believes the Tamaraws are bound to rise as his reformed backcourt partner continues to blossom in the UAAP this season.
The 2010 league MVP also insisted Romeo's transformation won't be a flash in the pan.
“Maraming nagsasabi kung ngayon lang ba ‘yan,” said Garcia after the Tamaraws' second straight win of the season against five-time champion Ateneo. “Tuloy-tuloy na ‘yan kasi mas nakakaintindi na siya ng basketball. Hindi katulad noon na gusto niyang solohin.
"Ngayon parang iniisip niya na puwede pala niya ma-involve ‘yung mga teammates niya. Kaya masaya siya ngayon,” he added.
One of the major reasons for the Tamaraws' sizzling start to the season has been the inspired play of Romeo, who had 12 assists in FEU’s season debut against University of the East then carried the Tamaraws in overtime in the 79-75 victory over the Blue Eagles.
Garcia has also been a recipient of Romeo’s assists as he contributed 18 points on 3-of-7 shooting from three-point range in the win against the Red Warriors.
More importantly, FEU's dynamic duo finally look like they're enjoying playing together.
They are constantly seen high-fiving and recognizing each other after a good play, debunking rumors that the two couldn’t get along. In fact, a photo of them dining together in a burger joint on Thursday amused many on Twitter.
Garcia clarified that he has always had a good relationship with Romeo.
“Sa loob at labas ng court, nag-uusap naman kami. Hindi naman totoo na magkagalit kami,” said Garcia.
Garcia said that he has also heard talks that their style of plays clash. He disagrees.
“Lagi inaadvice ni coach na maraming nagsasabi na hindi kami puwede magsabay dahil hindi daw kami magkatugma. Hindi ako naniniwala doon,” Garcia said.
Despite the 2-0 start, Garcia also believes that the team must not relax this early in the season.
“Hindi pa kami puwede magpanigurado. Marami pang teams na malalakas diyan. Hindi pa namin nakakalaban lahat. Siguro, one game at a time lang," he said. “Maganda ‘yung pinapakita ng mga teammates ko. Siguro tuloy-tuloy lang."
The peppery guard had 13 points in the overtime victory against Ateneo on Wednesday despite a bout with fever and a bum stomach days before.
“Hindi ako nakapag-practice noong Tuesday kasi may lagnat ako. Pinilit ko lang. Nag-LBM ako tapos nagkalagnat. Pinagpahinga ako ni coach, naka-recover naman ako,” Garcia said.