For 500 straight games, Mark Barroca has played non-stop basketball in the PBA.
On Saturday night, he played his 500th straight game when the Magnolia Timplados Hotshots tackled the NLEX Road Warriors. It turned out to be a significant one for Barroca, who scored 10 of his 18 points while leading a big third-quarter surge by the Hotshots, who outscored the Road Warriors, 33-12, and allowed them to overcome a 15-point deficit in the first half.
With Magnolia working double time on defense and Barroca along with fellow guard Jio Jalalon, who also had 10 of his 16 points in the third, joining forces on the offensive end, the Hotshots were able to complete an 87-73 triumph over the Road Warriors.
Barroca felt happy with the accomplishment, second among active players who has played nonstop behind only LA Tenorio, who has played more than 700 games.
“Masaya ako na hangang ngayon nakakapaglaro pa rin ako ng maayos at nakakasabay sa mga batang players,” wrote Barroca in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
Just a few weeks ago, Barroca’s streak of games was threatened when the veteran guard hurt his calf.
He was unable to continue the rest of the second half of their match against the Converge FiberXers in a game where they lost to overtime, 89-82.
But he didn’t miss the next game, thus keeping the streak alive, and hasn’t missed a match since.
For Barroca, neither sickness or a nagging injury where he can tolerate the pain, can stop him from playing.
“Siguro ang makakapigil lang sa akin na lalaro ’yung magka-COVID ka sa panahon ngayon kasi ’yun lang talaga sa tingin ko ha. Alam niyo naman ako kapag may injury ako basta kaya ko pa maglalaro ako talaga,” he added.