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Tiebreaker Times

2019 SEA Games

Mark Barroca wanted to have graceful Gilas exit under Cone

There were no players from the Magnolia Hotshots in coach Tim Cone’s Gilas Pilipinas 15-man pool for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, despite Cone coaching the team before.

No reason has been provided yet. But for Mark Barroca — who previously played for Cone under the San Mig Coffee banner that won a Grand Slam in 2014 — he takes no issue.

“Okay lang naman. Lahat naman yun depende naman sa coach yun eh. Sabi ko nga sa inyo, ‘pag kinuha ka eh ‘di okay, ‘pag wala eh ‘di okay pa rin,” said Barroca, the night after the announcement.

“Nirerespeto naman natin desisyon ng coach eh,” he added.

“Yun yung gusto ni coach, so rerespetuhin namin yun.”

Barroca and the likes of Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Ian Sangalang, Justin Melton, and Rafi Reavis — members of that Grand Slam team — are all familiar with Cone’s the triangle offense. But for Barroca, despite their knowledge of Cone’s system, it is likely already different from what the decorated bench strategist now runs with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

So for him, it is fine that he and his fellow Hotshots have not been included.

“Mahirap din yung matagal na hindi [namin nalalaro yung sistema ni coach Tim]. Kahit na sabihin mong alam mo yung sistema niya, iba na rin sistema ni coach Tim na tinatakbo niya ngayon eh,” he opined.

“Hindi na yung katulad dati na triangle namin. Ngayon yung triangle, mas lalong hybrid eh. So mahirap din galawin, kaya kumuha siya ng anim mula sa Ginebra para andun yung core,” continued Barroca.

“Para at least may panghuhugutan siya, para madala kaagad yung iba. Yun ang tingin ko.”

As for himself, Barroca revealed that he actually had his sights set on the SEA Games even before the 2019 FIBA World Cup, since he has never played in the biennial regional meet before.

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Moreover, the 33-year-old guard also looked at the SEA Games as his swan song with the Gilas program, of which he’s a pioneer. Still, Barroca harbors no hard feelings.

“Kaya ako, nung before mag-World Cup, sinabi ko maglaro ako sa SEA Games, pang-exit lang. Yun na yung pang-exit ko eh, last na yun sa’kin. ‘Di nabigyan ng chance pero okay lang, masaya pa rin.

“Wala kaming galit o ganun. Siyempre masaya tayo basta manalo yung Pilipinas. Susuportahan natin,” he said.

One thing he does regret with the non-inclusion, though, is missing the chance to reunite with Cone, who picked him back in the 2011 PBA Draft.

“Siyempre special yun kasi siya yung kumuha sa’kin. Yun yung maganda dun eh, mare-reunite ako sa kanya,” he said.

“Gustong-gusto ko rin siya maging coach ulit sa mga ganun kasi iba na eh — ‘di na PBA yun, pang-national team naman. Pero okay lang, walang problema yun.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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