FOR a very long while Star was on pins and needles against Rain or Shine Wednesday, with Mark Barroca tweaking his left ankle midway in the third period adding to the Hotshots’ concerns.
The injury proved to be one Barroca could easily shrug off and he showed it.
Returning to the game in the fourth period, Barroca ignited Star’s endgame surge that rolled it past Rain or Shine 84-69 and into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ricardo Ratliffe finished with game-highs of 26 points and 24 rebounds, but it was Barroca scoring 10 of his 12 points in the last 6:22 of the game that fully broke the Hotshots away from the ninth and last deadlock at 63.
By the time Barroca drained a near-triple to cap his heroics Star was up by 82-69 and well on its way to a follow up to its more lopsided 118-82 win in the best-of-three series’ opener last Monday.
The victory set the Hotshots up for a best-of-five semifinal meeting with San Miguel Beer. – PBA
STAR 84 – Ratliffe 26, Lee 13, Barroca 12, Simon 9, Sangalang 8, Jalalon 8, Reavis 4, Ramos 2, Maliksi 2, Melton 0.
ROS 69 – Crews 12, Chan 9, Tiu 9, Belga 7, Washington 7, Norwood 6, Ahanmisi 6, Cruz 4, Ponferada 4, Yap 3, Almazan 2.
Quarterscores: 16-19, 33-37, 55-52, 84-69.