WHILE Mark Barroca provided the spark on the court in Game Three, he also delivered encouraging words that also helped Magnolia take its first victory in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
How did Mark Barroca impact Game 3 win?
Barroca had 16 points including nine in the final period to arrest their skid in the finals on their way to a 106-98 win on Sunday, but it is perhaps his conversations with the team that fueled their drive to capture a win and avoid a 0-3 hole.
Paul Lee said Barroca was instrumental in his return to form after he scored 21 points in the victory, his best game thus far in the finals series.
“Kumuha lang ako ng motivation kay Mark,” said Lee. “Nakita ko kung paano lumaban si Mark. Doon lang ako kumukuha ng lakas ng loob.”
Lee said he was encouraged by Barroca to continue taking shots despite his struggles that saw him shoot just 8 of 24 from the field in the first two games of the series.
“Pinag-uusapan namin na sinsasabi niya sa akin na ‘Let it fly lang.’ Buti nakaka-convert ako at maganda ang depensa namin.”
Lee wasn’t the only recipient of Barroca’s motivation. Magnolia coach Chito Victolero bared that it was Barroca who suggested to start Jio Jalalon in his place as he is also bothered by a hamstring issue.
“Mark talked to me kasi may nararamdaman siya and sabi niya, start mo muna si Jio. And si Jio naman, always ready ‘yan,” said Victolero.
It paid off as Jalalon scored five in Magnolia’s 7-0 start and eventually finished with 11 points in the victory.
Victolero hopes Jalalon will continue his performance especially with Magnolia still down in the series. Game Four is set on Wednesday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
“Thankful ako sa bata dahil he started very strong on both ends of the floor and stepped up for his Kuya Mark. I talked to Jio also before this game and very important ‘yung mindset ni Jio. I think nakuha naman niya ‘yung gusto naming mangyari and hopefully, magtuloy-tuloy ang laro ni Jio,” said Victolero.