Basketball and Life Lessons from Mark Barroca

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Three basketball and life lessons from San Mig Coffee’s Mark Barroca during last night’s series ending Game 6 versus Rain or Shine:

1.     On leadership, courage, and determination under pressure.

  Amidst all the noise in the arena he extends his arms toward his veteran superstar teammates to get their attention and is overheard saying:

 “…be available guys.  Huwag kayo matakot sa bola.  Get the ball, ok.”

Picked up by the courtside camera at the San Mig Coffee huddle last night.  31 seconds remaining.  This hints at why Mark Barroca has emerged as one of the strongest point guards in the PBA, with killer 4th quarter instincts and guts on both ends of the court.

That shows me how he has led this team during this conference despite a 1-5 start,  then passing through the great teams Talk n Text and Ginebra in the quarter and semifinals.  In the course of this conference Barroca graduated from “Coffee Prince” and “Kapeng Barroca” to “Coffee King” and “Star Barrocs”.

2.     On being able to quickly bounce back from mistakes. 

From  Tim Cone’sScolding Sparks MVP-clinching Game for Mark Barroca:

Tim Cone:   “I screamed at him, told him he had to settle down, don’t get gigil, whatever, I don’t know what I said. But I was yelling at him,” Cone said.

“And then he goes and turns it around and has a great game. And that’s Mark.”

 “That’s what makes him special. He has great resilience, he has great resolve. And I’ve never seen a player who responds from mistakes like he does. He makes a mistake, he’s just going a hundred miles an hour to make it up,” ...

“You can throw him on the ground, kick him, beat him up and he’ll still say, ‘OK, Coach, let’s go.’ And he’ll keep going.

“You don’t just see that in players very often through my 25 years. He’s very special in that way.”

Need I say more?  Learn this and and we'll do great not only in sports but in life in general.

3.    On getting more than what we hope for.

    During the awarding ceremonies Barroca said he was only gunning for defensive player but he got more than that and bagged finals MVP instead

This reminds me of our young pro’s short devotion last night.   “Now to the one who is able to do beyond all measure more than all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work in us…” (Ephesians 3:20 – LEB)

Yes, I was still in a small group meeting half-way through game six.  Wife was texting me running scores and updates, including the ROS walk-out.   

The Purefoods/San Mig Coffee got its first back to back championships.  Tim Cone became the winningest coach in the PBA.  San Mig had a solid performance from all players.  San Mig planet is soooooo happy!


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