MANILA - TNT's Roger Pogoy hopes to play at a consistently high level for the Tropang Giga after opening his PBA Philippine Cup account with a career-game on Sunday against the Alaska Aces.
Pogoy, the 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year, put up a career-best 45 points after making ten three-pointers in a 100-95 TNT victory. The Tropang Giga needed every single one of his points as they trailed early in the game, before a second-quarter scoring spree by Pogoy put them back in the contest.
It was Pogoy who tied the game for the ninth and last time, drilling a difficult three-pointer with under three minutes to go for a 92-all count. Veteran Jayson Castro then finished off the Aces, scoring the final six points for TNT.
"In-expect namin kay RR ito," said TNT head coach Bong Ravena after the game. "Offensively, kailangan may numbers siya lagi."
After going scoreless in the first quarter, Pogoy was unstoppable in the second frame wherein he put up 21 points. He made eight of his 13 shots, including five three-pointers.
He told reporters afterward that he was in good condition heading into the restart of the PBA season, but struggled initially as he was still searching for his rhythm.
"Ilang beses lang kami nag-5-on-5. Buti na lang, pasalamat ako kay Poy (Erram), first tira ko siya nagpasa. Buti na lang maganda ang shooting ko ngayon, nakatulong ako sa team. Ayun. Kuha namin 'yung panalo," said Pogoy.
Pogoy was unaware of his scoring spree, as he noted that the Tropang Giga were trying to catch up for most of the game. This marked the third time in his career that Pogoy has made at least eight three-pointers in a game.
It is also the highest scoring game by a local since Stanley Pringle, then playing for NorthPort, had 50 points in a 133-115 win over Columbian Dyip in a Commissioner's Cup game in June 2018.
The challenge for Pogoy, said Ravena, is consistency.
"Kailangan ma-sustain niya ang numbers niya every night," he said.
It's a challenge that Pogoy welcomes, although he is not promising that he will break into 40-points every night.
"'Yun ang pinaka-ano eh, pinaka-mahirap, i-sustain 'yung ganoong laro," he acknowledged. "So, gagawin ko lang talaga 'yung best ko na ganoon palagi."
"Kahit hindi naman ganoon 'yung points as long as makatulong ako sa team at manalo 'yung team namin, ganoon," he added.
Pogoy and the TNT Tropang Giga return to action on Tuesday against the Terra Firma Dyip, still at the Angeles University Foundation Gym where all PBA games will be played this conference.