by Jonas Terrado
Mark Barroca dazzled in front of his hometown fans as Magnolia defeated Meralco, 99-88, for its fifth straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum in Zamboanga City.
Barroca finished with 21 points and seven assists in a successful homecoming to help the Hotshots continue their hot form after a 0-2 start.
Import James Farr had 19 points and 17 rebounds and Paul Lee added 18 points for Magnolia in the Petron Blaze Saturday Special affair.
Marc Pingris made significant progress in his third game back from an ACL injury, posting four points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes.
The first PBA game in the city since 2010 was a one-sided from the start with Barroca delighting his fellow Zamboanguenos that packed the coliseum.
Meralco dropped to 3-6 despite 35 points from new import Delroy James.
The Bolts need to win their final two games to stay in the hunt for the quarters.
Mike Tolomia, another hometown kid, had eight points and four assists for the Bolts.
Magnolia 99 – Barroca 21, Farr 19, Lee 18, Sangalang 11, Jalalon 9, Melton 6, Simon 5, Pingris 4, Herndon 3, Dela Rosa 3, Brondial 0.
Meralco 88 – James 35, Newsome 10, Tolomia 8, Hodge 6, Faundo 6, Jackson 5, Quinto 3, Salva 2, Amer 2, Canaleta 2, Caram 2, Pinto 0, Hugnatan 0.
Quarterscores: 32-15, 51-53, 72-63, 99-88