Zamboangueño basketball player Barroca standing tall as The Coffee Prince PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 March 2014 13:17

Amidst the frustrating increasing crime rates in our city these past weeks, there will always be a good news to pep us up. Today Pep Talk will feature San Mig Mixers basketball point guard player 5’10 tall Mark Barroca of Zamboanga City.  Tagged as “The Coffee Prince,” he helped his team win the 2014 DSL PBA Philippine Cup over Rain or Shine” with a great performance in the sixth game last February 26 at the Araneta Coliseum.  (Team and star player James Yap is The Coffee King.)

Barroca averaged 12.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals that propelled the coffeemaker  to their 11th title and sixth in the all-Filipino conference. He scored 24 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to stop the seventh game with the Rain or Shine. For this, he was adjudged and honored with the coveted PBA Press Corps-Papa John’s Pizza Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP), his very first PBA Award.

Barroca began his journey to the professional basketball league in 2007 by playing for Far Eastern University in the UAAP where he was discovered. For two years,, he played for Harbour Centre in the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League and for Smart Gilas Pilipinas in 2009. In 2011, he was drafted by (now-Air21) before San Mig took him in.

Barroca acknowledges his mentor Johnny Abarrientos, the legendary PBA point guard, who  serves as one of Cone’s deputies of San Mig Super Coffee. In a news article, he credits Abarrientos. “Tinuturo lagi ni coach Johnny sa akin 'yung timing sa pag-pasa or pag-tira. Si coach Johnny kasi, master yan ng triangle (offense),” said Barroca, referring to his fellow Far Eastern University alumnus who won several championships, including a Grand Slam in 1996, as the star point guard of the Alaska team under Cone and his patented triangle offense.

San Mig coach Tim Cone is really impressed with Barroca saying the pride of Zamboanga is now one of the premier guards in the league. He said that Barroca is the type of player who will never quit even though he may commit a mistake or two during a game. “He never quits. I mean, I love it when he makes a mistake. He will go 200 percent the next time,” how the San Mig coach describes his prized playmaker. "It’s so rare to see that type of player, but Mark? Never, whenever he makes mistake, boom, he gets back at it again, next play, next play, next play.”

Like you, Barroca, I am confident too that our beloved Zamboanga City and its leaders will continue to fight the bad elements that puts bad reputation to our city. Zamboanga City will rise up again.

By Dante Corteza

1 Corinthians 9:25
"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."