SAN Mig Super Coffee Mark Barroca felt blessed to have PBA greats and now assistant coaches Johnny Abarrientos and Olsen Racela guiding him every step of the way as he makes great strides in his third year in the PBA.
The scrappy guard out of Far Eastern University has blossomed into the Mixers' leading scorer this season with a 14.6-point average per game - an improvement he attributed to the advice given him by two of the league's best guards not to hesitate on his shots.
“Lagi kami nag-uusap nila coach Johnny (and Olsen),” the fifth pick overall of the 2011 draft told Spin.ph after being named the league's Player of the Week. “Pinapaalala nila lagi sa akin na kung gusto ko umiskor, hindi dapat ako mag-hesitate.”
Barroca has so far been taking the advice to heart.
Against Petron Blaze last week, Barroca led San Mig’s scorching start on the way to a convincing 112-93 victory en route to booking a quarterfinal seat in the Philippine Cup.
The 27-year-old guard from Zamboanga went on to finish with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in 32 minutes of action.
Barroca followed up that stellar play with a 12-point outburst and two key steals in the final period to help San Mig pull away for a 100-87 avictory gainst three-time Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text.
“Maganda at least ang finish namin sa elimination, nagka-momentum na kami pagpasok ng quarterfinals. Saka balanced na rin kasi scoring ng team,” said Barroca, who beat out Alaska’s JV Casio for the weekly honor.
Barroca finished 16 points, issued seven assists, added four steals and grabbed three rebounds against the Tropang Texters as the Mixers wound up their eliminations with an even 7-7 record to book the no. 5 seed in the quarterfinals.
Barroca and San Mig look to gain a quick advantage on Tuesday when they play the fourth-ranked Talk ‘N Text in Game One of their best-of-three quarterfinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena.