Magnolia Eyes Win Over NLEX In Game 2 Of PBA Philippine Cup Quarterfinals

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Hotshot point guard Mark Barroca scored his 5,000-point against the NLEX Road Warriors in Game 1 in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup last week. (Photo: NewsKo)

By Tracy Cabrera

Following their Game 1 conquest of the NLEX Road Warriors in their best-of-three quarterfinals series last week, keyed-up Magnolia Hotshots aims to nail a semifinals stint in the PBA Philippine Cup and a shot at a berth in the upcoming East Asia Super League inaugural tournament.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero is psyching his troops to once again to perform 100-percent when they face the Road Warriors at the Filoil EcoOil Center in San Juan for Game 2 tonight at 6:00 in the evening with the team expected to dish out the same effort that saw them hammer out a 64-47 lead in the crucial head start in the short race-to-two games series.

Basketball fans expect another stellar showing from former Far Eastern University stalwart Mark Barroca who now has joined the prestigious the PBA’s 5,000-point club.

Thanking God for his career and the talent given to him, Magnolia Hotshot point guard made PBA history behind a career scoring milestone which helped Magnolia move closer to the semifinals of the Philippine Cup even as he gave proof of his stature as among the best guards in the entire league.

After showing a steady performance for the third-seeded Hotshots, the 11-year PBA veteran did more than just scoring by contributing in almost all departments as his team cruised to its eighth consecutive win and a 1-0 lead over the NLEX (North Luzon Express) Road Warriors in a 98-89 win in the opener of their best-of-three quarterfinals series last Friday, July 24.

The former FEU Golden Tamaraw 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 tail-end of the eliminations and start of the playoffs.

Barroca also became the 94th player in PBA history (90th local) and 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 20 to 24 July.

“I thank God for my career, especially now that I reached 5,000 points,” Barroca reiterated after his team’s Game 1 quarterfinal victory on Friday night (July 24) last week.

“I also thank coach Chito (Victolero) and my teammates because I won’t make it if not for them. This award is just a bonus. Our goal is to win the championship,” he equally exuded.

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