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RR Garcia’s take-charge role paid dividends for Star, which finally nailed its first win following back-to-back losses to open the PBA Governors Cup.
Playing in his fourth PBA team in three years, the 5-foot-10 guard out of Far Eastern University seemed at home now with the Hotshots after leading his team to a 105-102 overtime win against GlobalPort.
Garcia had his best game so far in a Star uniform, firing 26 points on an efficient 11-of-13 shooting from the field in the opening game on Sunday that was marred by a power interruption at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Although he lost in his scoring duel against GlobalPort guard Terrence Romeo, his former FEU teammate, who had 27 points, Garcia had the last laugh.
The 26-year-old Garcia banged in eight points in the extra session, including two pressure-packed free throws off a deliberate foul on Stanley Pringle that practically secured Star’s first win for the conference.
His all-out effort earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of July 18-24, besting Blackwater’s John Paul Erram, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood and Alaska’s Chris Banchero.
“I think RR pretty much adjusted pretty well,” said Star coach Jason Webb on Garcia, the team’s prized recruit during the conference break. “I am just happy for guys. He got his confidence going and it’s fun seeing him and Terrence go at it.”
“We gave up a lot to get him and he played like the three players we gave up.”