Star veteran point guard Mark Barroca sported a swollen right eye and a boxer’s cut on his eyebrow just less than 5 minutes into the game against Mahindra on Wednesday.
But that hardly prevented the 5-foot-10 Barroca from returning to the game to help the Hotshots in their playoff bid in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
After having 5 stitches on his eyebrow at the dugout, the former Far Eastern University returned to the match to provide the backcourt leadership for the injury-plagued Star side.
“Dati rin naka-experience na ako ng ganito yung kay (Elijah) Millsap na sa bibig naman at natanggal ang ngipin ko. Pero gusto kong makabalik kasi yung responsibility ko sa team malaki,” Barroca said after the Hotshots held off the Enforcers’ last-ditch rally en route to an 86-73 win to clinch the 8th and last quarterfinal spot in the mid-season conference.
“Di man maka-shoot, pero yung leadership ko and to create offense para sa mga kasama ko, at least, nagawa ko na madala sila sa tamang posisyon kasi minsan, magulo kami,” he added.
The 1-time PBA Finals MVP said he still felt dizzy during the course game after an accidental hit from Mahindra shooting guard Karl Dehesa during the 7:17 mark of the opening quarter.
Barroca managed to finish the game with 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
His kick-out pass to rookie Mark Cruz, who drained his 2nd straight triple inside the final minutes practically sealed the outcome.
“Parang lumaban ako at nasuntok ni Manny (Pacquiao) yung mata ko,” Barroca said, who managed to make light of his condition.
“Pero happy ako kasi at least nanalo kami. Ganito man yung nangyari, nanalo naman kami so masaya pa rin.” – By Richard Dy
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