PBA: Mark Barroca believes in perseverance and isn’t intimidated by Magnolia’s Game 5 defeat as they win their second straight after demolishing Batang Pier

Feb 14, 2024

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Magnolia’s precarious circumstances following Game 5’s loss in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup Finals do not bother Mark Barroca.

With their 108-98 loss on Sunday night, the Hotshots’ hopes of defeating San Miguel three times in a row were dashed, and they now trail 3-2 in the best-of-7 match, putting them in danger of suffering yet another setback in the Big Dance.

Magnolia did rally from a 0-2 deficit in the series, winning Game 3 88-80 before winning Game 4 96-85, perhaps their most impressive victory to date, led by Paul Lee in the decisive finish.

The Hotshots entered Game 5 confident in their chances, having seemingly figured out their opponents. However, the Beermen proved their mettle by showcasing their depth, which has always been their stronger suit.

For the star-studded team, it was Jericho Cruz’s chance to shine on Sunday night. He tied his career-high of 30 points on eight threes and helped the Beermen win another championship by fending off the Hotshots’ comeback in the fourth quarter.

Guard Simon Enciso also made a surprise contribution to SMB with his 15 points, all of which came from outside the arc.

Overall, in the pivotal victory, Coach Jorge Gallent’s team made 16 three-pointers, more than double their previous best (8-of-37) output.

Magnolia’s failed schemes were not the only ones.

Barroca just had four points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field, demonstrating how nonexistent his offense was. That is following four games in which they averaged 15.2 points apiece.

He was unfazed, though, noting that lead shooter Lee (12 points), Jio Jalalon (17 points), Ian Sangalang (15 points), and Tyler Bey (34 points) all had excellent performances, despite the fact that they were all part of a losing team.

Barroca is not overly concerned about Game 6 at the Big Dome on Wednesday either. He views Magnolia’s pivotal game with great optimism, believing that his team has a good opportunity to rally from a series deficit.

The Scores

Magnolia 104 – Barroca 20, De la Rosa 17, Travis 15, Jalalon 13, Herndon 8, Reavis 8, Simon 8, Melton 4, Brondial 4, Sangalang 4, Ramos 3, Mendoza 0, Gamalinda 0, Pascual 0, Abundo 0.

Northport 87 – Woods 25, Taha 22, Grey 10, Gabayni 10, Tautuaa 9, Guinto 6, Javelona 3, Fortuna 2, Espinas 0, Arana 0, Flores 0.

Quarter scores: 27-17, 48-39, 75-62, 104-87

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