San Mig Coffee's Mark Barroca was awarded finals MVP of the 2014 PLDT My DSL PBA Philippine Cup. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig point guard Mark Barroca has won championships before in his short PBA career, but the team's triumph in the Philippine Cup on Wednesday was special for the player known to fans as the “Coffee Prince.”
Barroca shone in San Mig’s 4-2 victory over Rain or Shine in the Finals, tallying 24 points in Game 6 and hitting big shot after big shot in the final quarter on his way to Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors.
“Every time na nasa floor ako, ibibigay ko ‘yung 100% ko,” Barroca told reporters after the game. “Para hindi ako magsisisi, matalo man kami. At least, binigay ko ‘yung best ko.”
Barroca noted that he has won titles in conferences with imports, but this is his first championship in the All-Filipino conference.
“Nanalo ako ng may unlimited (height) na import, ng may 6-5 na import,” he said. “Gusto ko rin manalo talaga ng All-Filipino.”
“Gusto ko talagang ma-experience ‘yung feeling na manalo ng All Filipino, ‘yung wala kang sasandalan na import, kami-kami lang. So sobrang happy ako na nakuha namin ito,” he added.
San Mig head coach Tim Cone agreed that their triumph in the Philippine Cup was special, because it shows that they truly were the best team in the land.
“For one series, we won it and now we can actually say that we’re the best team in the country,” said Cone. “And I think that’s the greatest thing about winning the All Filipino.”
“We don’t have the best import, but we have the best team, the best collection of players that played the best together. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys,” he said.
Barroca admitted that even he was surprised that they took a 3-1 series lead over Rain or Shine.
“Hindi ko akalain na lalamang kami sa series kasi alam namin na kontrapelo talaga namin ‘yung Rain or Shine,” he said. “So siguro, ‘yung mga little things lang nakuha namin sa kanila ‘yun, kaya umangat kami sa kanila.”