College Hoops

One-on-One: RR Garcia and Bill Romeo

330yahoo_rrterrence.jpgBy Mav C. Gonzales for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

RR Garcia and Bill Romeo of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws just bagged this year's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year Awards in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

College Hoops follows their rise to fame and how they're dealing with it.

Most Valuable Player: RR Garcia
Two years ago, the name Ryan Roose Garcia wouldn't even ring a bell to most people. With an average of 16.8 points per game, the highest in the league right now, that was bound to change.


RR learned basketball when he was eight-years-old. He played under the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas with his brother. He got a first taste of basketball glory in freshman high school when he received the MVP Award. He was still in Southern City Colleges in Zamboanga back then, playing against his now-teammate Jens Knuttel who was in Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

Going to FEU wasn't a hard decision for RR. He saw fellow Zamboangueños Jens and Andy Barroca make it big in FEU. But more than the exposure, he liked the cohesiveness of the Tamaraws. It was basically a family away from family.

After a season in the UAAP, he was moved to Team B because he joined the RP Youth Team. When he returned this July, he was just a monster on the court and people couldn't quite explain the vast improvement. Some fans just started the myth that he gets his basketball skills from his bronze-dyed hair.

RR may have won the MVP Award but that was just an added bonus. His real goal this season is to win as many games as possible. "Syempre kung mataas nga ang points per game mo pero talo naman kayo, aanhin mo pa yon? Ang gusto ko lang talaga maka-contribute sa team," he ends.

He remains as low profile as ever though, as you'd often find this reigning UAAP MVP hanging out at the tusok-tusok or Internet café across their dorm. If you're lucky you might even spot him biking around Morayta after training. Where else would you find this kind of MVP?

Rookie of the Year: Bill Romeo
Terrence Bill Romeo, on the other hand, shot to fame last year when he scored 83 points for the FEU Baby Tams against University of the Philippines Integrated School.

How did he even put in 83 points? "Wala siyang pinapasahan! Tsaka kalaban niya hanggang dibdib niya lang," jokes RR Garcia in the background.

"Hindi naman talaga planado na ganun karami ang score ko. Kaya lang after two quarters, 33 points na ko. Sabi ng coach namin tulungan na lang ako ng teammates ko gumawa ng record," he explains. His 83 points did surpass the former record of 55 points by UPIS' Paolo Mendoza in the 90s.


Bill's dad always wanted to play in the pros. When he wasn't able to, he passed the dream to his six-year-old son. Bill didn't let him down as he won his first basketball award, an MVP title, in an Inter-Barangay League when he was only 12.

A former Baby Tam, he decided to stay with FEU because of their excellent athletic program. "And the extra rice!" he adds.

Being a rookie doesn't stop Bill from shooting right in front of his defender or hounding the other team's ball handler. In fact, he likes to go up against the veterans because he learns a lot of his moves from them.

If he has adapted well to the college basketball system, he says he still has a lot of adjustments to do when it comes to dealing with fans and media.

"Sobrang ibang-iba. Sa juniors parang kalahati lang ang nanonood eh. Sa seniors, sobrang daming fans tapos after the game may nagpapa-picture pa," he says with disbelief. "Naninibago pa ko. Naba-blanko nga ako minsan pag ini-interview ako eh."

Like his teammates, his goal really is to win the championship. He's even got a little ritual for himself: Bill hasn't cut his hair since the season started. Well whatever he's doing, he's doing it right as he proved to be the best rookie this year has seen.


RR and Bill may have already made their way to the top of the league with the MVP and ROY Awards. Now, College Hoops will find out what's comes from the top of their heads when they hear these words:

RR: Tamaraws.
Bill: Tamaraws.

Bill: Masarap.
RR: Ako din, masarap.
Bill: Iba na lang sa'yo! Sabihin mo na lang bilog.

Bill: RR.
RR: Terrence.

Justin Bieber?
Bill: Jens!
RR: Idol!

RR: German Shepherd.
Bill: Chihuahua.

RR: Red Horse.
Bill: Red Horse din ako eh.
RR: Palitan mo.
Bill: Okay, milk ako.

Bill: Lamborghini.
RR: Coaster lang dapat sa'yo eh.

RR: Dirk Nowitzki. Ay teka, si Jens Knuttel na lang. German yun eh.
Bill: Dirk Nowitzki.
RR: O, nanggagaya ka nanaman.

Lady Gaga?
RR: Gay.
Bill: Hot.
RR: Hot, eh gay nga!
Bill: Bakla ba yon?
(RR rolls his eyes and laughs)

Bill: Margarine.
RR: Oy gusto ko rin yon, Star Margarine.
Bill: Wag, iba sa'yo.
RR: Star for all seasons.

Glenn Capacio?
RR: Defensive player.
Bill: Oo nga, defensive player.
RR: Head coach ka na lang.
Bill: Inunahan ako eh. Pwede parehas kami ng sagot?
RR: Di nga!
Bill: Ano na lang, matapang. Brave coach.

RR: Blackberry.
Bill: 3310.

RR: Romeo.
Bill: RR.
RR: Si Jens kaya idol mo. Nagbobolahan na lang tayo dito eh!


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF
    OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF

    The Philippine government is asking the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to finally complete the tripartite review process of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The review – snagged  for several years as government had its hands full with the peace process with rival faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – tackles how the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF has been implemented and centers on the three remaining …

  • Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe
    Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe

    Eight of the resource persons ordered arrested by the Senate finally attended the 21st public hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the proceedings turned out to be a review of matters previously presented. For over three hours, the subcommittee heard presentations regarding the alleged hidden assets of Binay and the issue regarding the supposed P200 million in kickbacks he received from a deal between the Boy …

  • DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe
    DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up its investigation into the “massacre” of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A joint team of prosecutors and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigators is about to finish the second part,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has told congressmen. She was responding to questions raised by former senior police officer and now Rep. Samuel Pagdilao of party-list …

  • APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism
    APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism

    BALANGA CITY, Bataan – More than 2,000 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and international media outfits are expected to enjoy the splendid coastline of Bagac town, which faces the West Philippine Sea, as they converge for a workshop in this province next month. …

  • DOST opens P54-M research facility
    DOST opens P54-M research facility

    A P54-million research and development facility of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was recently opened in Bicutan, Taguig for scientists and researchers to develop technology and techniques to allow Filipino fashion and clothing designers and manufacturers to produce more mainstream products from local, tropical fabrics like piña, banana and abaca. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) is the DOST’s flagship effort at reviving …

  • DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights
    DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights

    Philippine embassy officials in Doha have raised their concern with Qatari authorities over coercion and human rights violations in the alleged forcing of three Filipino workers convicted of spying to provide information and confess to the crime. Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy has raised the matter during several high-level meetings with Qatari officials and the national human rights committee in Qatar. “Our embassy …

  • US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl
    US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington’s pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains “ironclad” and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief “reaffirmed” the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

  • ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’
    ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’

    Conflict in the South China Sea can affect economic growth and stability in Southeast Asia, New Zealand warned yesterday, amid China’s aggressive reclamation activities in disputed waters. New Zealand is marking its 40 th year of diplomatic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and hopes to intensify trade and other linkages with the 10-member grouping. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping territorial claims with China over the Spratly …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options