Garcia satisfied with UAAP career, looks to future
MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) guard RR Garcia will finish his college career without the biggest prize of all – a UAAP championship – but the former league MVP insists he is satisfied with what he has achieved with the Tamaraws.
Garcia was the MVP in UAAP Season 73, when the Tams lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the finals. Last season, FEU missed the Final Four entirely, and questions surrounded whether Garcia and younger teammate Terrence Romeo can exist on the same squad.
Those questions seemed to have been answered this season, when the Tamaraws raced to a 7-0 record. Garcia took more of a playmaking role, while Romeo established himself as the premier guard for the Tamaraws en route to MVP honors.
But the Tamaraws fell short again. They won only three games in the second round, failed to secure a twice-to-beat advantage, and lost to La Salle in the Final Four.
Despite this, Garcia said he was satisfied with how his UAAP career has played out.
“Sa akin, okay naman,” he said. “Basta sa last season ko, binigay namin ‘yung best namin. Maganda ‘yung pinakita namin.”
He is now looking forward to the next chapter of his basketball career, which will be with the cadet team of Gilas Pilipinas, before eventually going to the PBA.
“Nasa Gilas pa ako,” he said. “Siguro sa ngayon, kailangan ko pa i-improve ‘yung pagiging point guard ko. Hindi naman ako pwede sa pro na ganito, na wing guy, kasi maliit ako.”
But Garcia said he will never forget the years he spent with the Tamaraws.
“Yung mga teammates ko, parang kapatid ko na sila. Sa mga coaching staff namin, parang tatay, kasi malayo sa akin ‘yung family ko,” he said. “Eto ngayon, pag buo kami, nagba-bonding kami, masaya ako sa kanila. ‘Yun ang hindi ko makakalimutan.”
He also expects FEU to remain a contender even when he and fellow senior Gryann Mendoza are gone from the team.
“Next season, nand’yan pa rin ang FEU,” Garcia said.