RR Garcia accepts new role at Star

RR Garcia confidently feels that he’s in a much better condition after spending the first 2 weeks of practice with his new team Star.

The 5-foot-10 Garcia moved over to his 4th PBA team in 3 years after being traded by Phoenix to Star last month.

“Parang nakundisyon din ako kasi siyempre, first time ko sa PBA career ko na mag-twice-a-day ng practice. Eh ang hirap ng practice kaya kailangan paghandaan mo talaga araw-araw,” Garcia told FOX Sports after the team’s Thursday afternoon training at Ronac gym.

Garcia said his past 2 weeks saw him wake up at 5:30 in the morning, prepare quick so he can be at the gym for the 7 a.m. practice every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Then on Tuesdays and Thursday, he and the rest of the guards will have to be at Platinum Executive Gym and Health Club for their workout.

“Magkaiba (with Phoenix) lalo na yung twice-a-day kasi first time ito sa akin na nagpa-practice sa pro ng two times a day,” he said. “Saka ang hirap din bumangon.”

But the former UAAP Most Valuable Player said he has since learned to adjust to the team’s tough daily grind as rookie coach Jason Webb whips the Hotshots to shape in time for next month’s Governors Cup.

The soft-spoken Garcia said he felt at home with the Hotshots, especially since he now has a chance to play alongside his boyhood PBA idols James Yap and Peter June Simon, along with former Far Eastern University teammate Mark Barroca.

And since Star is loaded with scorers, from Yap, Simon to Allein Maliksi, the Star new boy understands that his role will now shift from being a scoring guard to playmaking.

“Sabi ni coach, priority ko is depensa, kasi di ka makapaglaro kapag walang depensa,” he said.

“Eh dito sa Star talagang ang daming scorers at superstars so ang role ko lang is gawin yung plays saka di ako makipag-sabay sa scoring kasi may James Yap, PJ Simon at Mark naman,” added the 6th overall pick in the 2013 PBA Draft.

And yes, Garcia made it clear that he has no intention of upstaging Barroca as the team’s top playmaker.

“Wala naman problema sa akin (to play behind Barroca) dahil alam naman natin si Mark starting point guard yan dito. So tutulungan ko lang siya dahil beterano na rin siya dito sa team,” said Garcia. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava