Magnolia’s chief playmaker Mark Barroca has found himself in a similar situation as Jayson Castro and JP Erram.
Along with the two TNT Tropang Giga stars, Barroca will have a new family member as wife Ruselle is expected to give birth to their third child while Magnolia is in the midst of battle in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
The 5th overall pick of the 2011 PBA Draft bared his wife’s pregnancy while he and the rest of the Hotshots have been inside the semi-bubble in Bacolor, Pampanga for over a month now has resulted in sleepless nights.
“Siyempre first time ko na magkalayo kami ng asawa ko, na wala ako sa tabi niya. So siyempre, nag-iisip din ako,” said Barroca.
The 7-time PBA All-Star said Coach Chito Victolero has given him some encouraging words to calm his mind.
“Nag-struggle ako nung una. So kinausap ako ni coach about dun,” he said. “Inin-courage niya ako, binigyan ng suporta and sabi niya, andiyan si Lord na siyang titingin sa pamilya ko [habang wala ako].”
Barroca converted a clutch three-pointer in Game 4 of the semifinals that helped the 2014 PBA Grand Slam champs weather a late Meralco rally and secure an 81-69 victory over the Bolts to move closer to their first PBA Finals appearance since the 2019 All-Filipino conference.
The 35-year old guard out of FEU finished with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field.
Barroca said another championship would be the most beautiful gift he could give to his coming baby. He already has 6 titles tucked under his belt and has a chance to add one more as the determined Hotshots are on the verge of making the 2021 Honda PBA Philippine Cup PBA Finals.
“Ito yung motivation ko, ginagawa ko ito dahil para sa kanila ito,” said Barroca.