MANILA, Philippines – For Roger Pogoy, his go-ahead shot that sank Rain or Shine in their 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup game was all part of the work that he is expected to do for the TNT KaTropa.
Pogoy has been solid for TNT in his rookie season, and has been averaging 13.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in the Commissioner's Cup heading into Sunday's game against the Elasto Painters. Despite being a rookie, he has been trusted by coach Nash Racela to play crunch time minutes, and he showed why he deserved that trust against Rain or Shine.
After committing a loose ball foul with 51.5 seconds to go that sent James Yap to the line, Pogoy breathed a sigh of relief when the ROS veteran proceeded to brick both charities. He then quickly made up for his error by calmly knocking down the go-ahead shot with 26.8 seconds left to push his team ahead, 103-101.
"Nag-scramble lang 'yung depensa, tapos 'yun, na-libre ako [The defense scrambled, and I got open]," said Pogoy, referring to the chaos that occurred before he got his hands on the ball.
Jayson Castro's skip pass to Ryan Reyes to the corner had been intercepted by Jeff Chan, only for Reyes to recover the possession. The TNT veteran was nearly falling to the floor when he got the ball to Pogoy, who was wide open on the left wing.
"Tinira ko," Pogoy said. "Ayun, na-shoot naman. Buti na-shoot. Baka talo kami kung 'di naka-shoot."
[I just shot it, and good thing it went in.]
There was no hesitation from Pogoy when he took the crucial shot, which he attributed to his knowledge of his role with TNT, as well as the confidence imbued in him by his recent stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
"Simula naman noong napasama ako sa TNT, alam ko na 'yung role ko," he pointed out. "Tagal ko na rin kasama si Coach Nash (Racela)."
"(At) dagdag kumpyansa talaga noong napasama ako sa Gilas," Pogoy added.
[Since the time I joined TNT, I already knew my role. My time with Gilas also boosted by confidence.]
Pogoy finished the game with 10 points along with four rebounds and two assists, while often being tasked to defend Yap on the other end. He gave up 23 points to the veteran, but got the last laugh in the end.
"Ginagaya ko rin siya, 'yung one-hand shot niya," Pogoy said of Yap. "Idol ko si James Yap."
[I imitate James Yap's one-hand shots. He's my idol.]
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