Mark Barroca hit a career milestone when he shot a game-high 24 points for no. 3 seed Magnolia as the Hotshots dropped the sixth-seeded NLEX Road Warriors, 98-89, Sunday night to win Game 1 of their 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinal showdown at the Araneta Coliseum.
Barroca unloaded 11 points as the Hotshots scored 40 points in the second period and took a 64-47 halftime lead.
The Hotshots, who trailed, 24-26, at the end of the first period, were never in trouble afterwards when Paul Lee’s jumper with 15 ticks left allowed them to enjoy a 17-point spread, their biggest lead when the third quarter got under way.
The 36-year-old Barroca went on to become the 94th cager to be part of the PBA’s 5,000 Points Club.
A layup from Barroca at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter gave him the distinction as the Hotshots stayed in front by 13, 68-55.
“Bonus na lang iyun (milestone) dahil ang goal namin ay ang mag-champion,” said said Barroca, who also delivered seven rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Calvin Abueva and Lee contributed 13 points each for the Hotshots, who played the Road Warriors to five lead changes.
Taking 16 points from 15 turnovers, the Hotshots stayed in control even when the Road Warriors managed to come close by 11, 70-81, at the end of the third.
“It was a hard, grinding game hanggang sa dulo. We just stayed focused in our 48-minute game,” said coach Chito Victolero.
Anthony Semerad tallied 19 points for the Road Warriors, while Don Trollano and Calvin Oftana knocked in 15 each. Peter Atencio