MARK Barroca provided backcourt stability as well as the go-ahead free throws as San Mig Coffee completed an endgame comeback to beat Barako Bull, 81-77, and book a quarterfinal seat in the PBA Governors Cup on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The sophomore guard stepped up at a time when Barako Bull threatened to blow the game apart, keying a 15-2 endgame windup that clinched San Mig's fourth straight win and put it in a good position to clinch one of three remaining twice-to-beat berths in the quarterfinals.
The former Far Eastern University star hit a tough running jumper off Celino Cruz’s defense to tie the game before giving the Mixers the lead for good on his pair of pressure-packed free throws with 18.9 ticks to go for a 79-77 San Mig lead.
In the end, the Energy Cola pretty much shot themselves on the foot when import Mike Singletary spoiled his dominant offensive game with a costly turnover.
Singletary, who scored 27 of his game-high 38 points, lost the ball when it hit his right foot before going out of bounce in the final six seconds.
Barako Bull elected to foul Allein Maliksi in the next play and the former Energy Cola cooly sank his two free throws to seal the outcome.
“I knew going to this game because they (Energy Cola) are so well coached, this is gonna be a tough game for us,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone. “I call this a danger game; that if we keep our heads and focused on the right things, we can make it. And in the end we did.”
Barroca, who earned Best Player of the Game honors, had 12 points, two assists and four steals in 30 minutes of play for San Mig. Marqus Blakely led the Mixers with 22 points while Maliksi added 18.
San Mig Coffee 81 - Blakely 22, Maliksi 18, Barroca 12, Devance 8, Simon 8, Mallari 5, Pingris 5, Yap 3, Reavis 0.
Barako Bull 77 - Singletary 38, Macapagal 16, Pennisi 6, Marcelo 5, Seigle 5, Cruz 3, Jensen 2, Villanueva 2, Monfort 0, Buenafe 0, Intal 0.
Quarterscores: 17-20, 39-31, 61-58, 81-77.