Mark Barroca joined the 5,000 points PBA club on Sunday night.
The 2011 fifth overall pick did so via a deuce at the 7:32 mark of the third period. He then finished the game with 24 points and seven rebounds.
His efforts also led Magnolia to take a 1-0 lead in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinals over NLEX, 98-89;
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon sa career ko nakakuha ako nitong 5,000 points nga,” said Barroca shortly after the win.
“Pasalamat ako kay coach at sa mga teammates ko. Kung hindi naman dahil sa kanila hindi ko rin maaabot ito eh.”
But he was quick to move on, saying that this accolade was nothing more of a bonus as he keeps his eyes on the bigger prize – the championship.
And the first step to the title ladder was already done with this Game One win, which he spearheaded.
At the half, Barroca already had 18 points to his name as the Hotshots unleashed a 40-point second quarter to zoom to a 17-point lead, 64-47.
“Wala naman akong hinahangad kung hindi mag champion eh,” said the soft-spoken floor general.
“Ang goal namin is manalo talaga ng championship.”
Magnolia is riding an eight-game winning streak and will look to finish off NLEX on Friday, 6 pm, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
And for head coach Chito Victolero, despite their red-hot run, the team should not think about it and just focus on the present.
“Playoffs na ito eh, two games lang so parang ang hirap kapag maunahan ka eh. First game, naunahan namin sila, ganoon pa rin gagawin namin sa next game,” said Barroca, a two-time Finals MVP.
“We don’t think about the winning streak. We start itong playoffs na ibang mindset. This is a different game, tinatanggal muna namin ‘yung nangyari sa eliminations,” said the bench tactician.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.