BALL is life after love life for Mark Barroca.
Four days after tying the knot again with his wife, Ruselle, in a church wedding, the Magnolia point guard orchestrated the Hotshots’ comeback in their 96-81 win over GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.
Barroca scored all his 12 points in the second half, including eight in the third quarter where the Hotshots outscored the Batang Pier, 35-22, to turn the game around after trailing by as many as 13 points early on.
“Sabi nga ni coach na mag-focus, tapos na yung wedding ko, yung schedule ko sobrang hectic, so sabi ni coach it’s time na bumalik sa basketball,” Barroca said.
More than his timely offense, Barroca credited the Hotshots’ defense that held erstwhile tournament-leading scorer Stanley Pringle to just five points on a miserable 1-of-12 shooting.
“Sabi nga ni coach, hindi naman dapat umiskor ka, basta dumepensa lang,” Barroca said. “Yun naman yung gusto niya e. Yun yung ginawa namin.”
“Gusto niya i-start ako, pero sabi niya babawi na lang ako sa third quarter, si Justin na lang muna. Kami ni Jio yung (naglaro) at a time na wala naman point guard yung second group nila (Global), so dun kami nag-start,” added Barroca, who had two steals, on top of three assists, three boards, against only one turnover in 24 minutes.
By delivering on both ends, Barroca helped the Hotshots grab their seventh win in 10 games that boosted their bid for a Top-Two spot that comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“Siguro nandito na kami, yun siguro motivation namin na manalo lang kami ng isa against Meralco, so malaking chance na mag-Top Two kami,” Barroca said. “Hopefully makuha muna namin yun sa Saturday.
Nagkataon lang talaga na siguro yung schedule namin, hindi katulad ng iba, so yun yung parang opportunity namin ngayon,” he added.
With the Hotshots’ primed for another deep playoff run, Barroca’s honeymoon with Ruselle will have to wait.
“Professional tayo. Delay na lang muna, pagkatapos na lang kung saan tayo darating sa conference na ‘to,” the former Far Eastern University star said with a smile.