Magnolia guard Mark Barroca got his first national team gig in 2010 when the original Gilas Pilipinas was formed and coached by Rajko Toroman.
With collegiate stars transitioning into professional basketball comprising its core, that squad wound up fourth in the FIBA Asia Championship in 2011 in Wuhan, China.
The opportunity made a world of difference for Barroca, who was then coming off a collegiate stint for Far Eastern University in the UAAP.
"That stint was a huge boost for me. I wouldn't be the player I am today if not for that," said Barroca.
Barroca and Toroman reunited briefly on Wednesday during the NorthPort-Phoenix game in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Toroman is in town to call the shots for Mighty Sports for the upcoming Jones Cup in Taiwan. He is also the new mentor of Indonesia's national team for the Southeast Asian Games.
After the opening game, Toroman stayed on to watch Barroca lead Magnolia to a 118-82 drubbing of powerhouse San Miguel.
Barroca put up an all-around performance with 17 points on a 5-of-6 shooting from deep, to go with nine assists, four rebounds, and two steals as the Hotshots rolled to a fourth straight victory.