MARK BARROCA gained a piece of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) history behind a career scoring milestone that in the process helped Magnolia move closer to the semifinals of the Philippine Cup.
Proving his stature as among the best guards in both the Magnolia franchise and the entire league, Barroca became the latest member of the 5,000-point club after a steady showing for the third-seeded Hotshots.
But the 11-year-veteran did more than just scoring by contributing in almost all departments as Magnolia cruised to its eighth consecutive win and a 1-0 lead over NLEX after a 98-89 win in the opener of their best-of-three quarterfinals series.
The 36-year-old former Far Eastern University stalwart scattered averages of 13.3 points on 40-percent field goal from downtown, laced by 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.0 steals in three games all won by Magnolia at the tailend of the eliminations and start of the playoffs.
His stellar outing was highlighted by a 24-point eruption against the Road Warriors in Game 1, where he officially reached 5,000 points and became only the eighth player in Magnolia franchise history to mark the milestone.
The Zamboanga City native also became the 94th player in PBA history—90th local—and only the fourth from the loaded 2011 Rookie Class to achieve the scoring feat, thus earning himself the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period July 20 to 24.
Barroca, the fifth pick in the draft 11 years ago, was unanimously voted by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat.
The veteran playmaker added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals against NLEX that moved the Hotshots a step away from the semis.
Previously, Barroca only had four points against Blackwater, but filled the statsheet with five rebounds, six assists, and four steals as Magnolia hacked out a 75-66 win to clinch the No. 3 seed entering the playoffs.
In the Hotshots’ easy 118-87 win over Rain or Shine before the clash with the Bossing, Barroca played only 25 minutes, but still uncorked 12 points, two dimes, six boards, and three steals.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon sa career ko at ngayon nga, nakaabot ako ng 5,000 points,” Barroca said. “Pasalamat ako kay coach (Chito Victolero) at sa mga teammates ko. Kung hindi naman dahil sa kanila, hindi ko rin maaabot it.”
“Bonus lang ‘yung mga award. Ang goal namin is manalo talaga ng championship,” he said.
Also considered for the weekly honor were Barroca’s teammates in Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon and Calvin Abueva, along with Meralco’s Aaron Black, Chris Newsome, and Allein Maliksi.