Andy Mark Barroca has toiled under the shadow of JV Casio during their brief time together with Smart Gilas.
But since turning pro last year, both former crack college point guards parted ways. Casio helped Powerade to a Finals stint during his first conference as a pro in the Philippine Cup.
While Barroca, whose B-Meg team lost to Casio’s Powerade in last season’s Philippine Cup quarterfinals, eventually won the Commissioner’s Cup title, before finishing runner up to Rain or Shine in the Governors Cup.
This season, Barroca has improved his craft, manning the point guard spot well with Jonas Villanueva, who played ahead of him at Far Eastern University, missing the first two games of the ongoing Philippine Cup semis series due to dengue.
Barroca shared that playing in the PBA is not easy.
“Daming banggaan. Expected na iyan talaga sa PBA,” Barroca shared just before he heads to the San Mig Coffee practice at the Ronac gym to prepare for Game Three.
He said Rain or Shine is quite a dangerous opponent because of its “never-say-die” spirit, something Barangay Ginebra has had for decades that made it appealing to the PBA fans for decades.
“Rain or Shine kasi, kahit 20 points down or 20 points ang lamang, di nagbabago ang laro. Consistent sila,” added the soft-spoken Barroca, who scattered 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and issued seven assists in San Mig Coffee’s easy 106-82 rout of Rain or Shine in Game Two.
Despite the easy win, Barroca said the best-of-seven semis series won’t be smooth sailing from there because Rain or Shine is not a team that won’t back down or fold up in any pressure.
“Si coach kasi, kung matalo man kami, naga-adjust lang siya para makabawi uli,” he added.
Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee will clash for Game Three on Christmas Day at the MOA Arena.