MANILA—With the influx of talent and veteran players improving, Far Eastern U guard Ryan Roose “RR” Garcia doesn’t expect to replicate his MVP triumph in the 74th UAAP season.
One thing’s for sure is that Garcia, the 5-foot-10 scoring ace from Zamboanga, will go all-out in a bid to not only help end his school’s six-year wait for a crown, but give his teammates Aldrech Ramos and JR Cawaling a title as a fitting graduation present.
Individual awards will be considered a bonus for the 21-year-old, who is on his third year for the Tamaraws.
“I don’t think I can win the MVP again,” said Garcia, whose offensive repertoire and heady playmaking has proven to be a thorn for UAAP teams.
“My priority is to win the title for my school and my graduating teammates.”
For all his remarkable exploits last season, Garcia couldn’t lift the Tamaraws to a crown as they lost in the finals to a formidable Ateneo squad.
Garcia normed a league-best 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists and one steal in the elimination round to claim the MVP plum. He was just the second guard to bag the MVP plum since 1991.
But with the Eagles focusing their defense on him, Garcia had difficulty making a strong impact in the finals.
Garcia felt his MVP award meant nothing after that heavy defeat to the Eagles.
“I felt like the things I worked for throughout the season just went down the drain,” he said in Filipino. “The team was so disappointed. I was also sad.”
The new season gives Garcia hope that the Tamaraws will finally shed the underachiever tag.
And Garcia wants to be in the forefront as FEU tackles the challenges of the season.
“I’m focused,” said Garcia. “You can’t expect me to force my shots anymore. I will be a leader.”