Ibibigay ko 'yung best ko, time ko, puso ko -- Barroca
Mark Escarlote on Jan 21, 2019 07:37 PM
Bibigay ko talaga ‘yung best (ko), bibigay ko yung time ko dito ngayon na makapaglaro ulit -- Mark Barroca
Magnolia guard Mark Barroca is very much pumped-up to don the national colors once again after eight years.
So when head coach Yeng Guiao called for the team’s first training session for the sixth and last qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the 32-year old Magnolia Hotshots backcourt star was one of the early players to arrive at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Unfortunately, the training session turned into just an orientation with just 10 players showing up and just six including Barroca participating in a quick shoot around.
But it didn’t dampen Barroca’s return as a member of the national team.
“Sobrang excited ako makapaglaro dito. Sabi ni coach kanina ‘yung commitment nga sobrang kung meron pang 200 percent na commitment, ‘yun committed ako, so why not?” said Barroca, a pioneer of the then Smart Gilas program. “Bibigay ko talaga ‘yung best (ko), bibigay ko yung time ko dito ngayon na makapaglaro ulit.”
Barroca last played for the national team back in 2011 during the FIBA Asia Championship where the country placed fourth.
“Siyempre as a player, lahat ng players gusto mag-national team so ito napili din ako so ibibigay ko yung best ko, yung time ko, yung puso,” said Barroca.
“’Di na rin ako nagi-expect na makuha dito pero kinuha nila ako siyempre sobrang saya ko rin sobrang tine-treasure ko ‘yung pagkakuha nila dito sa akin. Alam mo yun, na-pump up ako e na kinuha nila ako,” he added.
Barroca was joined by Roger Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Poy Erram, Raymnond Almazan and Japeth Aguilar.
Paul Lee and Scottie Thompson skipped the first training day while naturalized player Andray Blatche has yet to arrive in the country.
Back-up naturalized player Christian Standhardinger has recently stated that he’s focused on recovering from knee injury and playing for San Miguel in the ongoing 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
Gilas is preparing for two must-win games against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 25.
The national squad will fly to the Middle East on the second week of Ferbuary for a series of tune up matches.
Gilas dropped its last two games on nail-biting fashions – against Kazakhstan (92-88) and Iran (78-70) last December.
The national team is 1-3 in the last four games, and the two setbacks dropped the Philippines to fourth place with a 5-5 card in Group F behind Australia (9-1), Iran (7-3) and Japan (6-4).
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