ANTIPOLO – Mark Barroca stuck to the positives of Magnolia’s 77-76 loss to San Miguel Beer on Sunday in what he hoped was a preview of a more important meeting in the playoffs of the Philippine Cup.
In a battle between the top two teams in the standings, the Hotshots managed to rattle the Beermen with their pressure defense in the first half, before the defending champions figured out a way to eke out the win down the stretch.
“Nagulat nga kami, depensa namin, nandoon talaga yung depensa, nagdadala talaga depensa, ang baba nga ng score, ‘di ba,” Barroca said. “So yung depensa namin nagdadala talaga, so positive kami na siguro by next time sila makalaban namin, alam na namin gagawin namin.”
Barroca is hoping to meet the Beermen again under the same atmosphere – in the finals.
“Hopefully sana (finals preview ‘to),” the veteran playmaker said. “Kasi sa playoffs, ganito naman lahat ng laro e kasi iba na pag playoffs, di ba. Dikdikan na masyado yan so ito ineexpect namin sa playoffs. Parang playoffs na rin talaga ito ngayon.”
Barroca was one of the few bright spots for the Hotshots as he registered a game-high 21 points, built around five triples, on top of five boards, two steals, and one block in 32 minutes.
But the former Far Eastern University star insisted there was no conscious effort to take over offensively, especially in the absence of Paul Lee.
“Wala naman, siguro sabi nga ni coach, pag feel mo, take it,” Barroca said. “Ganoon naman sinasabi ni coach Chito sa amin, pag feel mo, take it, pag hindi mo feel, bigay mo sa iba. Equal opportunity kami lahat dito.”
Whoever scores is immaterial as long as the Hotshots prevail in their future games.
“Nasa magandang posisyon pa rin kami,” Barroca said as his team dropped to 6-2. “Yung mga remaining games namin, ayusin lang namin para mas maganda pa yung standing namin.”