DESPITE the 2-0 lead which Magnolia enjoys against Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Governors Cup semifinals, the Hotshots are approaching Wednesday’s Game 3 as if it's a do-or-die match.
“Basta kami stay hungry. I-treat namin yung next game na parang do-or-die,” said Barroca after the team’s 101-97 win over the Kings in Game Two on Monday night.
“Kasi alam natin na ang Ginebra kapag nakakuha ng buwelo yan, sunud-sunod na yan. Never-Say-Die nga sila, di ba?”
Besides, the team already learned its lesson.
In last year’s Philippine Cup semifinals, the Hotshots also led the Kings, 2-0, in a best-of-seven series, but still lost after the Kings rallied to win the last two games for a seat in the finals.
“Dumaan na kami dito (2-0). Bumalik sila,” Barroca recalled. “Kaya ang 2-0 wala naman kung hindi mo matapos ng tatlong panalo.”
Barroca averages 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists so far in the series, where he had the tough task of matching up against Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio in the backcourt.
The pesky Magnolia guard has his hands full trying to contain the veteran Ginebra playmaker that both found themselves engaged in several physical plays during the first two games of the series.
Barroca however, shrugged it off as nothing personal.
“Hindi naman physical, tough lang,” he said. “Si LA, nagkakausap naman kami. Part lang ng game yun. Pagkatapos naman ng basketball, wala namang personalan.
“Gusto kong manalo, gusto niya (Tenorio) rin namang manalo.”
With that mindset, Barroca expects the next game to be even more physical, especially with Ginebra trying to stay alive in its bid to defend its title.
“Champion team yan (Ginebra). Back-to-back champions yan, tapos last conference (Commissioner’s Cup) champion rin,” he said. “So iba yung kalibre nila.”