YOU would think that after his outstanding play this season for San Mig Super Coffee, guard Mark Barroca has earned enough respect to silence critics.
Despite his stellar performance in the PBA Philippine Cup where Barroca has earned three successive Player of the Week citations, below-the-belt comments continues to be hurled the San Mig guard's way, which most of the time are personal.
They Said It!
“At the end of the day, nagdadasal na lang kami. Sinasabi ko na lang mas nakakakilala sa amin ang Diyos, at hindi niya kami pinapabayaan." - San Mig guard Mark Barroca's wife Ruselle
“Oo, lagi nga nila inaapi si Mark, sinasabihan ng kung ano-ano. Pangit daw, maitim, unggoy. Lahat ng masasama sinasabi nila. Kulang na lang ipakulam at isumpa nila,” bared Barroca’s lovely wife Ruselle.
“Syempre, nasasaktan din ako. Tao lang din naman ako. Hindi na lang ako nagbabasa, hayaan ko na lang sila. Distraction lang yun eh. Pero pag nag-uusap kami ni Mark, usapan namin after game walang Twitter, wala lahat. Para wala kami mabasa,” she added.
On the court, Barroca has been the most consistent player for the Mixers after averaging 14.64 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.50 assists, 2.64 steals, and 1.36 rebounds per game in the eliminations.
He has sustained his fine play in the playoffs where he played the hero's role in two of the Mixers’ three semifinal games for a 2-1 lead against the Ginebra Kings in their best-of-seven semifinal series.
Still, that hasn't stopped some fans from making Barroca the butt of jokes in different internet fora, fan pages, and even in the popular PBA memes (pictures where funny captions are placed by cage fans).
Ruselle admitted that she has learned to be tough amid the public ridicule and has refrained from reading fans comments, learning to be strong through prayers.
“Nakikita lang kasi nila 'yung pang-labas ng tao. Pati ako naja-judge, dati sinasabi nila na hindi kami bagay, pineperahan ko lang daw si Mark. Dati nahu-hurt ako, nasasaktan ako talaga,” she said.
“Pero at the end of the day, nagdadasal na lang kami. Sinasabi ko na lang mas nakakakilala sa amin ang Diyos, at hindi niya kami pinapabayaan,” added Ruselle, who was Mark’s steady for four years before they decided to tie the knot in February of 2012.
“Mas marami pang ibang mabigat na problema kaysa dyan. Saka ang daming blessings na dumating kay Mark para magpa-apekto at pumatol kami dyan,” she said.
And with how her husband has been playing an integral role in San Mig’s bid for the all-Filipino championship, Mrs. Barroca bared that "it could be God’s way of lifting Mark after being dragged down by critics."
“Siguro ganun nga yon … Itinataas siya ng Diyos, kasi may mga taong pilit nagbababa sa kanya,” she said.
“Saka ganun si Mark, mentras na minamaliit mo at inaalipusta, mas lalo siyang namo-motivate,” added the mother to their one-year-old daughter Natalie Faith.
Asked how she sees the physical appearance of her husband, the former Ruselle Alinea replied: “Hindi siya pangit. Hindi, para sa akin hindi. Para sa akin guwapo siya … perfect siya. Kaya nga siya ang minahal ko at pinakasalan.”
Mrs. Barroca also revealed how proud she is with her husband who devotes his spare time to less fortunate kids during the offseason by giving free basketball clinics in Sauyo and Tandang Sora in Quezon city as well as in Mindanao.