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Barroca insists outing vs Meralco was not about bouncing back

Hard-earned was Magnolia’s fifth straight victory that came at the expense of Meralco after pulling away with a 97-88 overtime victory in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, Friday night.

Engaging in a nip-and-tuck affair through the first 48 minutes, it was only in the extra period that the Hotshots were able to gain enough separation from their opponents to chalk up the win.

Chito Victolero’s squad silenced the Bolts by limiting them to only two points without a field goal made in overtime. For veteran guard Mark Barroca, matching the defensive intensity and hustle of Meralco allowed them to overcome a resilient squad that simply refused to go down easily.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga teammates ko kasi ‘yung collective effort nga na sabi ni coach, kailangan ‘di kami matalo sa effort,” he claimed moments after their win.

“Kasi ‘yun ‘yung buhay ng Meralco eh, ‘yung second-chance points nila, ‘yung mga hustle nila.”

The Hotshots’ defense did wonders as it limited the Bolts to only 31-percent from the field and 25-percent from the free-throw line. Magnolia also outmatched Meralco in terms of steals, 13-5, and in blocks, 7-6, while also forcing the Bolts to commit 23 turnovers.

2022-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Magnolia-vs-Meralco-Mark-Barroca-2 Barroca insists outing vs Meralco was not about bouncing back Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

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“Against Meralco, alam naman namin everytime maglalaro kami with Meralco grinding game eh,” the 36-year-old playmaker stressed. “So nag-grind kami 53 minutes, hindi lang pag sinabi ni coach 48, 53 minutes talaga kami lagi ang gagawin namin ‘pag kalaban Meralco talaga.”

Barroca had a huge imprint in the game after tallying 20 points, six assists, five steals, and two rebounds in almost 39 minutes of action.

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His production on Friday night against Meralco was a far cry from his previous outing against NLEX where he was held to only two points.

The six-time PBA champion admitted that there wasn’t a conscious effort from him to bounce back on offense after having a dismal showing against the Road Warriors.

According to him, giving his team a shot at winning games remains to be the biggest motivation for him to play his hardest every time he steps on the floor.

“Sabi nga ni coach sakin lagi na every time nasa court ako, mag-set ako ng tone para sa mga teammates ko,” the Zamboanga native claimed. “Nung last game naman is ‘di naman all about two points lang ako kasi nga alam ko naman na sabi nga ni coach kung sino ‘yung mainit samin, bigyan namin ng chance naman kasi ‘yun ‘yung kailangan namin eh. Kung kailangan kong mag-adjust para sa kanila, mag-aadjust ako kasi may goal kami eh.”

Still, Barroca was glad to see his teammates step up right when they needed it the most. After securing five consecutive victories, the Hotshots continue to climb up the standings with a 6-3 record heading to their last two games of the elimination round.

“Di naman kami one-man team dito, more on lahat kami eh,” he continued. “So kahit two points lang ako ‘nung time na ‘yun, ‘yung ibang teammates ko like mga big man namin sila James [Laput] stepped up, sila Aris [Dionisio].

“Itong game na ‘to, nagkataon lang talaga na siguro nakaka-shoot. Subok lang kaya ‘yun ‘yung nangyari.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Student. Writer. Manager. Blue Eagle

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