THIS conference, Mark Barroca has achieved two different milestones for his career, but would rather take the ultimate prize of a championship at the end of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Mark Barroca on joining 5k-ponint club
Barroca on Sunday eclipsed 5,000 points for his career in the Hotshots’ 98-89 win over NLEX in Game One of their quarterfinal series. Incidentally, it was during their elimination round match against the Road Warriors that Barroca played his 500th straight game of his career to remain second behind LA Tenorio for consecutive matches played in the league.
For the 36-year-old Barroca, though, those achievements remain secondary.
“Sa career ko, wala naman akong hinahangad kundi mag-champion,” said Barroca, a six-time PBA champion including the 2014 grand slam with San Mig Coffee although his last title was in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
“’Yun naman sabi ko kay coach na binuo ang team na ‘to hindi ang para makuha ‘yung award. Bonus ‘yung award pero ang goal namin is manalo ng championship,” he said.
Barroca is hoping that Magnolia would indeed capture the crown this time around after being so close to the championship many times including the 2021 Philippine Cup where it lost to TNT.
So far, the Hotshots have a strong chance of contending for the title. With an eight-game winning streak, Magnolia can seal its place into the semifinals with another victory over NLEX on Friday.
Barroca said the entry of Calvin Abueva, acquired in a trade with Phoenix before the 2021 season, would finally pay dividends this conference.
“’Yung nakuha namin si Calvin, ang usapan namin nila coach, it’s about three years na itong program na ginagawa namin ngayon. Sana makakuha ng championship especially itong grupo na ‘to. Sana pagtrabahuan. Lagi kaming nagpe-prepare sa offseason. Lahat may extra work, hindi lang sa team kundi sa outside, bawat isa, nageextra,” said Barroca.
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