Romeo sings praises for 'idol' Garcia
MANILA, Philippines - "Idol." This is how Far Eastern University (FEU) guard Terrence Romeo described his backcourt mate, graduating guard RR Garcia, just hours after the Tamaraws' campaign in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament ended.
Against De La Salle University in the Final Four, Romeo scored 14 points to go along with seven assists, but the Green Archers triumphed, 71-68, to advance to the Finals.
Garcia, in his final game for FEU, had 10 points.
After the game, Romeo, the Season 76 Most Valuable Player (MVP), lavished praises upon Garcia, who won the league’s top individual award in Season 73.
"Si RR, sobrang laking tulong niya sa akin," said Romeo, who won the Rookie of the Year plum in the same season that Garcia was MVP. "Sa mga interview ko nga noong last two years, kapag tinatanong nila kung sino idol ko, rookie year ko pa lang, ang sinasabi ko na, si RR."
Romeo and Garcia – along with Mike Tolomia, another FEU guard – continuously faced questions as to whether they can exist together on the same team, considering the similarities in their skill sets.
But Romeo is quick to emphasize that in four years of playing in the same backcourt, he has learned a lot from Garcia even as they sometimes struggled to find harmony.
"Sobrang talino niya mag-laro, tapos sobrang dami kong natutunan sa kanya. Kung paano siya dumiskarte sa loob ng court – iba 'yung may RR Garcia ka na kasama sa loob ng court," said Romeo, nearly waxing poetic.
“Habang nagma-mature ka, tapos siya yung kinukahaan mo ng skills or kinukuhaan mo ng diskarte – iba ‘yung RR,” he added.
"Tsaka s'yempre, MVP 'yun eh. Iba pa rin kapag MVP ka 'di ba?"
For Romeo, watching how Garcia operates inside the court has shown him what he needs to work on his game.
"Napaparating niya kung saan dapat darating 'yung bola," said Romeo. "Nase-set up niya 'yung mga teammates niya. Sobrang ganda ng decision-making niya."
"'Yun 'yung sa tingin ko na kailangan ko pang idagdag para sa akin," he said.
Garcia, along with forward Gryann Mendoza, will be out of the team next season, and it will be up to Romeo to lead the Tamaraws' charge.
"Dapat ngayon pa lang, nire-ready ko na 'yung sarili ko na mag-take charge," said Romeo, but admitted that he still has to become more mature in order to take the leadership role for FEU.
"Mapapangako ko sa sarili ko at sa mga supporters ko na darating din ‘yung time na magma-mature ako," he vowed.