PBA Philippine Cup

Barroca continues to defy Father Time as Magnolia wins 3 in a row

Delfin Dioquino

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Barroca continues to defy Father Time as Magnolia wins 3 in a row

FOCUS. Mark Barroca in action for the Magnolia Hotshots in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Mark Barroca, who will soon turn 38, has been a consistent two-way performer for Magnolia

MANILA, Philippines – With the way Mark Barroca has been playing in the PBA Philippine Cup, how can anyone tell that he is already 37 years old?

Barroca continues to turn back the clock as he steered Magnolia to a third straight win, netting 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in an 81-77 escape against Blackwater at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Wednesday, April 17.

Coming through when it mattered most, Barroca poured 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Hotshots stay afloat and improve to 4-2 after the Bossing threatened a comeback behind rookie James Kwekuteye.

“I’m motivated to compete in every game and in every practice. I’m the kind of person who wants a challenge, especially against the younger players. I want to see how far I can go,” said Barroca, who will turn 38 on April 25.

The 5-foot-10 guard has been a consistent two-way performer for Magnolia.

Barroca is second in the team in scoring with 15.2 points and his averages of 5.2 assists and 2.5 steals rank fifth and second, respectively, in the entire league.

“Mark is 37? He plays like he is 30,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero. “I see how he takes care of his body and he watches what he eats.”

“I think one of the biggest factors why he can keep up with the younger players is because he really takes care of his body.”

Calvin Abueva delivered for Magnolia with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double off the bench, while Paul Lee chimed in 10 points and 4 assists in a game that saw him move one triple within the 1,000 three-pointers club.

Ian Sangalang, who leads the Hotshots in scoring with 18.7 points, added 10 points in the win.

Kwekuteye finished with a season-high 23 points, scattering 12 points in the final frame as Blackwater trimmed a deficit as big as 50-67 to just 74-79 with 10 seconds left in the game.

Lee, however, knocked down a pair of crucial free throws to seal the win for Magnolia.

Troy Rosario supplied 20 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds for the Bossing, who lost their fifth straight game since their promising 3-0 start.

The Scores

Magnolia 81 – Barroca 19, Sangalang 10, Abueva 10, Lee 10, Laput 9, Dionisio 7, Jalalon 7, Eriobu 4, Tratter 2, Mendoza 0, Balanza 0, Ahanmisi 0.

Blackwater 77 – Kwekuteye 23, Rosario 20, Nambatac 9, Ilagan 7, David 7, Guinto 6, Hill 2, Jopia 2, Chua 1, Escoto 0, Suerte 0, Tungcab 0, Casio 0.

Quarters: 17-20, 34-34, 56-45, 81-77.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.