Magnolia refused to go on an early vacation and repulsed TNT, 105-97, in the semifinal round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Mark Barroca scattered 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting with 3-of-4 coming from beyond the arc as the Hotshots pulled off the crucial Game 5 win to cut the Tropang Giga’s series lead, 2-3. The 36-year old product of Far Eastern University also contributed 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in 33 minutes of action.
“Maging aggressive lang din ako, maging smart sa game, pero di lang naman ako,” said Barroca during the post-game press conference with the winning coach and best player of the match.
“Kasi nga kailangan ko rin mga kasama ko. Dapat lahat kami aggressive dahil down kami, kailangan naming kumuha ng momentum start pa lang ng game,” he added.
The trio of Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee and Calvin Abueva added 16 points apiece while Jio Jalalon and Aris Dionisio chipped in 15 and 10 markers, respectively.
“I told them we need to weather the storm. Nababa nila ng tatlo ‘yan eh. But because of their mental toughness, ‘yung kanilang pagiging smart and disciplined on both ends, naka-survive kami,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero. “Yun naman ang kailangan eh. We need to survive together para lang makuha namin, ma-extend namin ‘yung series.”
“We did a good job on defense. Sabi ko nga wala kaming babaguhin sa depensa namin. We’re here because of our defense. We did a good job on sustaining the defense for 48 minutes,” added the one-time PBA champion mentor.
The Hotshots will try to extend the duel to a winner-take-all Game 7 when the two sides clash anew on August 14, Sunday, 6:30pm at the same venue.