Just when Alaska threatened to come back in the fourth quarter, Mark Barroca fired 7 of his 16 points to hold off the Aces and assure a 100-84 win for Magnolia in Game 1 of their best-of-7 PBA Governors' Cup finals on Wednesday.
Romeo Travis led the Hotshots with 29 points to go with 13 rebounds and 5 assists, but it was Barroca who put the fire out during a crucial stretch in which the Aces threatened to take over.
Aside from scoring 16 points, Barroca also had 6 steals, 3 assists and 2 rebounds to help the Hotshots take the series opener.
“He knows how to play in a championship series, he's one of my veteran guards. He did a good job at both ends of the floor,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
At first, Magnolia appeared headed for a trouble-free victory after leading by as many as 21 points over the Aces.
But Alaska unloaded a telling 12-0 run that cut Magnolia's lead to 84-76 with 4:24 to go.
This prompted Barroca to take matters into his own hands and unloaded 5 straight points to quash the uprising.
Paul Lee scored 14 for the Hotshots, who also got 10 from Ian Sangalang.
Mike Harris led Alaska with 20 points.
Although he's happy to take the series opener, Victolero said this does not mean Magnolia should relax.
"Kailangan namin sigurong i-push pa. Kasi this is a best-of-7 at isa pa lang ang nakukuha namin," he said.
Magnolia 100 - Travis 29, Barroca 16, Lee 14, Sangalang 10, Herndon 9, Melton 7, Reavis 4, Simon 4, Brondial 0, Dela Rosa 0, Pascual 0, Mendoza 0.
Alaska 84 - Harris 20, Banchero 12, Teng 10, Enciso 9, Casio 7, Racal 6, Manuel 6, Pascual 5, Thoss 3, Galliguez 3, Cruz 3, Baclao 0, Exciminiano 0, Andrada 0.
Quarters: 24-14, 52-40, 77-58, 100-84.
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