Showing his veteran smarts and leadership at the start of the brand new conference, Star playmaker Mark Barroca emerged as the second Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week after leading the Hotshots to a 2-0 start in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
Barroca, the 2014 Philippine Cup Finals MVP, is expected to play a bigger role for a Star side that is looking to make a fitting follow-up to its semi-final appearance in the Philippine Cup where it eventually lost to Barangay Ginebra in seven games.
The 5-10 Barroca beat Star teammate Peter June Simon, Meralco young guard Baser Amer and Jared Dillinger, Rain or Shine sophomore point guard Maverick Ahanmishi, Mahindra’s Ryan Arana, Alaska rookie forward Carl Cruz and TNT’s Jayson Castro for the weekly citation for the period of March 20-26.
Stepping up in place of combo guard Paul Lee, who is playing through a knee injury, Barroca came off the bench to provide the much needed spark, firing 17 points and adding 2 steals in 23 minutes as Star debuted this conference with a 101-82 rout of Phoenix last Wednesday.
Three days later, Barroca churned out an all-around effort of 8 points, 5 rebounds, the same number of assists and 2 steals, while helping Star contain 2-time PBA Scoring champion Terrence Romeo as the Hotshots registered a runaway 103-77 demolition of GlobalPort.
The Hotshots join the Meralco Bolts (3-0), defending champion Rain or Shine (3-0) and Alaska Aces (2-0) as the unbeaten squads this conference. San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra are the two remaining teams that have yet to see action this conference after figuring in the best-of-seven championship series in the Philippine Cup last month.
Star has several days to prepare, before returning to action against winless NLEX this Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.