SAN Mig’s speedy playmaker Mark Barroca ended the four-year reign of Air21 guard Jonas Villanueva in the Obstacle Challenge side event in the PBA All-Star Week on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Barroca clocked 31.4 seconds in the preliminaries to finish as No. 1 among 10 participants then improved to 29.8 seconds in the finals despite muffing his layup at the start - enough to beat Villanueva who checked in at 36 seconds. Alaska’s JV Casio finished at 54.5 seconds.
“Isip lang ang pinagana ko ngayon,” said a beaming Barroca, who also pocketed the P30,000 top prize. “Masaya din kasi kung manalo ka ngayon. Eh alam ko na gagawin ko kasi na-experience ko na ito last year pa.”
Barroca, who was named the PBA Press Corp Finals MVP in the recent Philippine Cup Finals, admitted that Villanueva remains a force to reckon with in the Obstacle Challenge, having won the side-event title the last four years.
But the Mixers guard said he just has to approach each attempt with confidence and deep focus.
“Nahirapan lang ako sa layup dahil dun ako nag-mintis, pero dapat lang confident ka sa unang tira mo,” he said.