Barroca rues Magnolia's 'wake up loss' to Phoenix in PBA semis

Barroca rues Magnolia’s ‘wake up loss’ to Phoenix in PBA semis

/ 08:31 PM January 28, 2024

Magnolia Hotshots PBA semis Mark Barocca

Mark Barocca and the Magnolia Hotshots in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix didn’t beat Magnolia. Magnolia beat Magnolia.

That was the mindset that Mark Barroca had upon leaving the Mall of Asia Arena with after the Hotshots’ 103-85 loss at the hands of the Fuel Masters on Sunday.


With a PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals ticket on the line, Magnolia failed to close out Phoenix which extended the best-of-five series to a fourth game, much to the dismay of Barroca.


Wake up loss samin ito eh. Akala namin ganun-ganun lang yung Phoenix pero hindi. Kaya sila nandito, may reason kung bakit sila nandito. So as a team, magreregroup kami, back to basics at manonood ng film. Kami nagpatalo sa sarili namin, di naman Phoenix ang tumalo samin. Kami ang tumalo samin,”  the veteran guard told

READ: Not ready to go home yet, RJ Jazul heats up at the right time for Phoenix

(This is a wake up loss for us. We thought Phoenix was just another team but they’re not. That’s why they’re here, there’s a reason why they’re here. As a team, we’ll regroup, go back to basics and watch film. We lost to ourselves. Phoenix didn’t beat us. We beat ourselves)

“Kapag hindi mo pinasuko ang Phoenix, wala. Back against the walls sila eh. Normal sa isang player na gagawin mo lahat para makabalik and yun ginawa nila samin.”

(If you don’t make Phoenix surrender, it’s over. They got their backs against the walls and it’s normal for a player to do everything to come back and that’s exact;y what they did to us.)

The Hotshots went on their usual semis routine by unloading a hot start in front of the Fuel Masters with a dominating 51-38 first half.

And, like the usual Phoenix semis round form, the Fuel Masters mounted a comeback run in the third quarter.


Except this time, Magnolia failed to repulse a come-from-behind blitz by coach Jamike Jarin’s men.

Magnolia PBA semis Tyler Bey

Magnolia import Tyler Bey. –MARLO CUETO/

It was hard to find a silver lining in Magnolia’s second half struggles but if Barroca took anything away from Game 3, it’s the possibility that they can take the win in a down-the-wire affair.

“Ang positive lang dito eh alam namin na kaya namin. Kita niyo naman, 20 lamang namin so sa’min yung talo, yun yung problema, nag-relax kami especially sa defense.”

READ: PBA: Defense is key for Magnolia in semis Game 1 win over Phoenix

(The positive here is, we know we can win. As you all saw, we led by 20 or more so the loss is on us, that’s the problem. We relaxed, especially on defense. We have to be smarter with little things like those.)

“Wala na, eh. Lubog na ‘yong kalaban, patay na, binuhay pa.”

(It was over. The opponent was done. They were dead and we let them come back to life.)

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The Hotshots still have a chance to close out the series and march to the Finals on Wednesday when they clash against Phoenix in Game 4 at the same venue.

TAGS: Magnolia Hotshots, Mark Barroca, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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