STAR suffered a big blow as Mark Barroca caught an unintentional hit on the face from Karl Dehesa early in their do-or-die PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Mahindra on Wednesday.
The Hotshots point guard fell and struggled to get up after taking a fist from the Enforcers wingman, who later insisted the hit was unintentional.
He was forced to leave with a little less than four minutes gone in the first period of a do-or-die game that staked the eighth and last playoff spot.
Barroca sustained a cut above and below his right eye, which needed five stiches to close. He later shrugged off the injury which, he said, felt like being punched by Manny Pacquiao.
Asked if Barroca will come back, Hotshots medical staff Arcee Cua said it was Barroca's call.
Barroca, though, showed his resilience as he returned halfway through the second period, with a his right eye almost shut and still managed to play quality minutes in a win that enabled the Hotshots to take the last ticket to the playoffs.