Barroca inspired during big game by upcoming church wedding

MANILA, Philippines – Aside from helping Magnolia keep its winning streak alive, Mark Barroca had another inspiration in mind after an all-around performance in the Hotshots’ 91-83 win over the TNT KaTropa on Saturday, January 27.

Barroca was all over the floor against the KaTropa as he submitted 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals to anchor the Hotshots to their 4th straight win. A big reason for his impressive showing is his upcoming church wedding with beau Ruselle.

They were married in a civil wedding almost 6 years ago but the 31-year-old Barroca admitted they have been dreaming of tying the knot in a church.

In the past 5 games prior to the win, the former Far Eastern University standout had been sort of quiet on the offensive end, cracking the double-digit mark for only one game in Magnolia’s 97-91 triumph over Phoenix on January 20 where he scored 12 points.

With his wedding happening in less than two weeks, Barroca found the perfect timing to turn in his best performance of the season against the Katropa, who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.

Siguro ‘yun ‘yung isa sa motivation ko kasi matagal ko nang hinintay na magka-church wedding kami. So inaalay ko lang ‘yung panalo namin at ‘yung pagiging Best Player ko sa wedding namin,” said Barroca.

(Maybe that is my motivation since I waited to have a church wedding for a long time. I dedicate this win and my Best Player award to our wedding.)

The wedding is set on February 12, the couple’s anniversary, and when asked why they did not move it to Valentine’s Day, Barroca quipped: “Wag na, baka wala nang makapunta.” (Not a chance, the guests might not come.)

Barroca and the Hotshots will try to stay in the winning column when they lock horns with the Blackwater Elite on Friday, February 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.