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PBA: Barroca steady in clutch as Magnolia turns back Converge in ‘On Tour’ thriller

Mark Barroca came in clutch as Magnolia stifled Converge, 99-95, in a thrilling PBA On Tour encounter, Wednesday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The veteran guard nailed the go-ahead fallaway jumper with 40.3 seconds left to play, and then canned both freebies moments later to push their advantage to three to save the Hotshots after squandering a 14-point third-quarter lead.

A split from the foul line by Jed Mendoza with nine-tenths of a second left sealed the result, undeniably a tough pill to swallow for the FiberXers as they lost a 95-92 lead because of two crucial turnovers in the final 59.1.

Mendoza finished with 14 points, while Barroca served 12 markers as the perennial contenders earned their second win in as many outings.

“It’s good for both teams that we have this kind of game, although exhibition,” said head coach Chito Victolero. “Nag-gain kami pareho.”

Paul Lee top-scored for Magnolia with 21 points on five triples, alongside six assists and a steal in the win where the fresher talents took the spotlight.

Jerrick Ahanmisi made 12 points, while James Laput fell just short of a double-double as he finished with eight markers and 10 boards. Former FiberXer Abu Tratter also chimed in with eight points and six caroms.

“We want to develop these players,” said Victolero of Laput, Ahanmisi, and Mendoza. “Para magamit namin sila sa future games namin.”

Magnolia will look to make it three straight against NLEX (0-2) on Saturday, June 3 at 5 p.m. at the Baliwag Star Arena in Bulacan.

Kevin Racal, on the other hand, led Converge with a game-high 22 points as he rifled in an excellent 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.

#ReadMore  Marc Pingris anchors, Mark Barroca steps up as Hotshots stave off TNT

The two-way forward nailed two of his treys in back-to-back fashion, giving his side an 81-77 lead with 7:05 left that set the tone for the tight finish.

Jerrick Balanza had 20 points while Mike Nieto added 18 for the FiberXers, who will next face Meralco (1-1) on Sunday, 5 p.m., at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Scores:

Magnolia 99 – Lee 21, Mendoza 14, Barroca 12, Ahanmisi 12, Laput 8, Tratter 8, Eriobu 8, Murrell 6, Corpuz 6, Dela Rosa 4.

Converge 95—Racal 22, Balanza 20, Nieto 18, Teng 8, Stockton 7, Arana 6, Ebona 5, Mendoza 5, Ambohot 4, Guinto 0.

Quarterscores: 22-14, 45-35, 71-64, 99-95.

Written By

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

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