MANILA, Philippines – Mark Barroca has earned a reputation as one of the most durable PBA stars after playing in over 500 straight games.
A finger injury is not going to stop the veteran guard.
Barroca played through a dislocated pinky finger on his right shooting hand and helped Magnolia notch a gritty 109-105 win over Converge in the Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday, October 1.
The 36-year-old finished with 19 points, 11 coming in the third quarter, as he kept the Hotshots afloat before import Nick Rakocevic, Jio Jalalon, and Paul Lee took charge in the final period.
He subbed out with six minutes left in the third quarter but immediately came back in three minutes later, ditching the plan to have his injured finger iced and taped up.
“I guess I just got used to playing even if I get hurt. I did not want to ice my finger because it will become numb and I will not feel anything. I did not want to have it taped because I’m not used to it,” Barroca said in Filipino.
“I’ll do that after the game. I still have four other fingers,” he added in jest.
Barroca and the rest of the local cast rose to the occasion as they compensated for the limited production of Rakocevic, who got contained to 21 points on 6-of-20 shooting to go with 24 rebounds.
Rakocevic put Magnolia on his back in their win against Terrafirma with a stellar 45-point, 25-rebound debut, but Barroca and the locals came through this time with five of them scoring in double figures.
Barroca said winning against the FiberXers is crucial in their mission of compiling as many wins as possible before the Hotshots go up against the powerhouse squads.
“We needed to build momentum. It would be a waste if we let this opportunity slip because we have yet to face the elite teams,” Barroca said.
Now up 2-0, Magnolia will have its mettle tested when it tangles with Philippine Cup finalist TNT on Wednesday, October 5, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com