Young playmaker RR Garcia relishes the chance to reunite with former Far Eastern University backcourt mate Mark Barroca, just a day after being traded to Star.
The 5-foot-11 guard considers Barroca as his mentor since their days with the Tamaraws in the UAAP.
“Siyempre, excited ako makalaro sa Star, lalo na nandun si Mark. Nagkasabay kami sa FEU saka nag-mature na rin siya (Barroca) dahil sa mga beterano na nakakalaro niya,” Garcia told FOX Sports on Thursday.
“Pero si Mark, malaking tulong din siya sa akin dahil siya yung nagga-guide sa akin since nasa FEU pa kami,” he added.
Both PBA guards came from Zamboanga City and were teammates at FEU in 2008 and 2009.
When Barroca decided to skip his final playing year at FEU, Garcia assumed the leadership of the team and went on to become the UAAP Most Valuable Player in 2010.
At Star, Garcia said he isn’t expecting to score a lot, given the platoon of scorers the Hotshots have led by 2-time league MVP James Yap, PJ Simon, Barroca and even emerging wingman Allein Maliksi.
Meantime, Barroca welcomed Garcia’s entry, saying he could easily inject leadership, outside shooting and excellent playmaking for the Hotshots come the season-ending Governors Cup.
“Maganda din kasi ang pinakita ni RR sa Phoenix last conference kaya malaking bagay yung madadala niya sa team gaya ng leadership niya saka magaling din siya magbasa ng sitwasyon sa loob,” said Barroca.
Barroca, a 1-time PBA Finals MVP, noted that Garcia is coming off an excellent career performance with Phoenix in the Commissioner’s Cup.
In fact, the wily Garcia averaged PBA career-high numbers of 17.73 points, 4.0 assists and 2.73 rebounds in the Commissioner’s Cup. – By Richard Dy
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