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PBA: Barroca shines for San Mig

Ping Excimiano and Mark Barroca

Manila, Philippines – Despite the team’s injuries and struggles this season, cat-quick point guard Mark Barroca has emerged as one of San Mig Super Coffee’s most reliable players in the game this season.

Proof of that is the 5’10” playmaker’s solid performances in the Mixers’ last two games.

Barroca played with great intensity and resolve during the team’s surprisingly easy 112-93 demolition of Petron Blaze last January 15.

The pride of Zamboanga did everything for San Mig in that crucial match, setting up his teammates, scoring off driving layups and running jumpers and more importantly, providing the hustle all game long to help San Mig clinch a quarterfinal slot.

He went on to finish with an all-around game of 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in 32 minutes of action. Two days later, Barroca again stepped up big, this time outplaying last season’s Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference Jason Castro when he banged in 12 of his 16 points in the final period to engineer San Mig’s 100-87 demolition of defending all-Filipino champion Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

The former Far Eastern University sentinel’s pesky defense also limited Castro to just four points in the second half that enabled the Mixers to break free from what had been a see-saw battle for both squads. Castro finished with 21 points in that game. Barroca’s heroics helped the Mixers end the eliminations with four straight victories en route to an even 7-7 win-loss card as they prepare for their much-awaited rematch with the Tropang Texters in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning on Tuesday.

For his stellar play, Barroca emerged the Accel-PBA Press Corps. Player of the Week for the period of January 12-19, beating Alaska’s sweet-shooting point guard JV Casio for the weekly citation.