THE first time he had the chance to play hoops with the 'Pacman,' Purefoods guard Mark Barroca immediately became aware of two things.
One, he learned that Manny Pacquiao can play basketball for hours on end, thanks to his superb stamina.
“Grabe yun, tuloy-tuloy na laro kami nun, mga four hours yata,” the 5-10 Hotshots said, recalling that one time eight-and-a-half-months ago when he was invited to play a pick-up game with the boxing hero in General Santos.
Two, there's a rule of thumb when you play with the eight-division world champion, as an aide soon reminded the scrappy Purefoods guard.
“Eh bawal daw humarang (kay Pacquiao), kasi baka daw mapilayan,” he added with a smile in a brief chat with Spin.ph on Tuesday before the team’s practice at Ronac gym.
But come Wednesday, Barroca said things will be entirely different when he crosses paths with Pacquiao again in Purefoods' game against KIA Motors on Wednesday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Barroca vowed not to take it easy against the Pacquiao, who’ll be playing in just his second PBA game since debuting on opening day as player and coach in KIA’s 80-66 win against Blackwater.
“Babantayan ko siya (Pacquiao), eh siyempre, trabaho ito eh. Pangit naman na nan dun siya (on the court) tapos relax lang tayo (on defense),” said the 28-year-old former Far Eastern University guard.
That match-up should be worth watching.