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Pogoy’s trust in Racela’s system bears fruit

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Roger Pogoy is a guaranteed starter for any squad in collegiate basketball today.

The fifth-year Tamaraw could easily drop 20 points and five assists a night. In any other collegiate team, he is an undeniable starter. Pogoy though chose to buy into the vision and system of third-year Far Eastern University Tamaraw head coach Nash Racela.

After last season’s Finals series against the National University Bulldogs that saw Pogoy perform a vanishing act as his production dropped game after game, the Cebuano worked double-time in the off-season for that one goal: a championship to end his five-year run with the Morayta-based squad.

A stint with the Sinag Pilipinas pool gave Pogoy the mental toughness for the grind of the collegiate season. Moreover, he spent extra hours in practice to work on his shooting and playmaking.

Finally, he and the other five seniors of the team bought in to Racela’s system of constant ball movement and active defense. However, believing and trusting that system entails sacrificing individual numbers for the team.

“Heading into this season we knew we had a team that was, on the physical and skill level and also on the mental aspect, probably the best team since the Arwind Santos-era,” FEU Athletics Director Mark Molina said during the post-game scrum after Game Three.

UAAP 78 Finals G3 FEU vs. UST - Pogoy-5360“I think this is the only championship team I can remember that had no one winning an individual award but they could’ve easily done so,” Molina said pointing to seniors Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, and Roger Pogoy.

The maturity and leadership of Pogoy was evident all throughout the season, averaging 10.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in just 20 minutes of court time. He then upped the ante in the playoffs as he increased his output across the board in posting norms of 14.3 points, four boards, and two dimes.

Pogoy capped his five-year UAAP journey with an all-around performance in the game-clinching match of the Finals that will make any professional scout salivate. After Kevin Ferrer’s heroics in Game Two, Belo and Pogoy made it their responsibility to not just contest every shot attempt of the UST skipper but to completely deny him the ball. The two wingmen took turns in hounding Ferrer for 40 straight minutes.

“Sobrang hirap! Kasi nung Game 2, grabe siya eh,” Pogoy said about his batchmate and fellow Gilas Cadet teammate Kevin Ferrer. “Siya yung gumawa. Kaya yun, na stop naman [namin].”

On the other end, Pogoy almost single-handedly won the championship for FEU when he trimmed the lead of the University of Santo Tomas and delivered the go-ahead trey late in the fourth quarter for the Tamaraws. The Growling Tigers never recovered.

After finally winning the big one, Pogoy could not hide the relief of finally getting the monkey of their back in exclaiming, “Sobrang saya. Sobrang blessed. Thank you Lord! Ayun. Sobrang saya ko. Sobrang blessed ko!”

Even during the furious 16-0 UST rally that saw their neighbors go up 57-51 with 6:03 remaining, Pogoy disclosed that he and the team were never worried that the title is slipping away once more. “Wala. Kaya nga sinabi palagi ni coach Nash na relax lang, atin ito. Kaya dun, nagfocus lang kami,” Pogoy recalled. “Execute lang nang maayos. Yun naman. Buti nakahabol.”

His mentor Nash Racela has seen continuous progress ever since his start in 2013. FEU finished 3rd and 2nd in Seasons 76 and 77 respectively. Pogoy emphasized how instrumental Racela was to FEU now that they finally won the championship, “sobrang blessed namin kasi siya yung naging coach namin eh. Sobrang bait na coach. Wala akong nakitang ganyang coach.”

Pogoy is one of a handful of Tamaraws who played their last collegiate game last Wednesday. While Pogoy and his fellow seniors are regarded as the core of their team, he appreciated the fact that a lot of their younger teammates stepped up during the course of the season. “Kung hindi din sa kanila, hindi kami mag-champion. Laking tulong nila sa amin. Yan talaga yung strength namin eh,” he told Tiebreaker Times. “Malalim ang bench namin this season kaya nakakapahinga kami minsan. Kasi last year dun kami nauubos dahil wala kaming bench.”

FEU will have to rebuild now that the likes of Pogoy, Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia are done in the UAAP. Nevertheless, Pogoy is still confident for FEU’s future because of Racela. “Alam naman natin na sobrang galing ni coach Nash diyan eh. Tiwala naman kami kay coach Nash kung anong gagawin niya next year sa mga players,” the senior added. “Marami namang matitira. Nadiyan naman si Jose, Dennison, Arong. Kaya nila yan.”

Numerous pundits have noted that Pogoy had shown he is PBA material in his last games for FEU. Not one for individual recognition, Pogor shrugged it off. “Hindi. Siguro bunga lang sa hard work and prayer. Yun, siguro ganun lang talaga.”

“Si Lord na bahala. Baka magpa-draft na ako eh.”

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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Basketball

Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice

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With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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CSJL

San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins

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With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Basketball

Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual

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Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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