GARCIA WEEK’S BEST, 4 IN A ROW FOR ENERGY
AMIDST Barako Bull’s deep guard rotation, sophomore playmaker RR Garcia manages to make the most of the playing time he gets under coach Koy Banal.
On Sunday, Garcia grabbed the opportunity to shine, banging a PBA career-high 26 points to lead Barako Bull to a king-sized 112-103 victory over skidding Rain or Shine to regain solo leadership in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Banal explained that he’s not rushing Garcia’s maturity process, allowing seasoned Barako Bull players like Paolo Hubalde, Chico Lanete and Willy Wilson to serve as mentor for the former UAAP Most Valuable Player.
“Sila Willy, Paolo saka Chico, sila yung mga leaders ng team na nagse-serve na guide sa mga bata kagaya ni RR,” Banal said.
No wonder, Garcia played like a grizzled veteran against Rain or Shine, facilitating Barako Bull’s offense, while knocking down shots both from inside and outside to help the Energy improve to a franchise-best start of 5-1.
The 5-foot-11 Garcia’s stellar effort earned him his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of May 25-31, edging San Miguel Beer guard Chris Ross in a tight battle for the weekly citation.
“I’d like to say he’s (Garcia) ready to go all out every game. Even before Liam (McMorrow) came in, given na yan, day in and day out, he’ll be ready to go even sa practice,” Banal said of his prized playmaker out of Far Eastern University.
Although the Energy still have a long way to go in their quest for the franchise’s very first PBA title, Banal is hopeful that Garcia will continue to display the same consistency as they try to end the season with a bang.
Garcia is the fourth straight Barako Bull player to be named the PBA Press Corps. Player of the Week, following teammates JC Intal, Dylan Ababou and Joseph Yeo.
Rain or Shine was the last PBA team to have four players (Jervy Cruz, Paul Lee, Ryan Arana and Jeff Chan) winning four straight PBA Press Corps weekly citations. (RD)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.