Roger Pogoy helped TNT serve Ginebra a dose of its own medicine in a PBA Governors’ Cup clash of heavyweights by doing what he does best.
The 30-year-old displayed his elite two-way play yet again in producing the key run that enabled the Tropang Giga to complete the come-from-behind victory, in the process locking the top seed to wrap up the elimination round (10-1).
“It’s not only the making of shots, but it’s actually making the plays on the defensive side before we get the ball back,” offered head coach Jojo Lastimosa shortly after the 114-105 win at the Philsports Arena, Friday night.
“Roger made the pretty stat — making shots. But before that, the hard work, the deflection, the defense, that gets overlooked,” he added.
Pogoy finished with 22 points, seven of which he made in consecutive fashion to give his side the 110-104 lead with 2:25 left to play.
He began that personal run through a layup off transition, which he got after stripping the ball away from no less than Justin Brownlee — the 6-foot-2 winger was assigned to guard the three-time Best Import in the final moments.
Then came another fastbreak bucket, followed by a triple from the corner as he unloaded the punches that gradually took the fight out of the Kings.
Both of those shots came from Jayson Castro, and that’s why Pogoy refuses to take all the credit to himself despite delivering the biggest of blows.
“Galing yun sa steal ata, sa defense ko kay Justin. Buti na lang nakuha ko yung bola,” said the FEU product, who wound up with three steals.
“‘Yung pangalawa naman, puro pasa ni kuya Jayson. Credit din kay Kuya Jayson. Naka-seven points straight,” he continued.
Ditto with his defensive effort on Brownlee, saying that his Gilas Pilipinas teammate was already tired the moment he picked him up.
“Kasi nung huli na ako eh, kaya pagod na si Justin. Kaya medyo nakakasabay. Nung una pa lang, kawawa nga ‘yung mga teammate ko kasi ang galing din talaga ni Justin. Hirap kami kay Justin,” said Pogoy.
All that mattered to him was leaving with the victory as it would serve as a big confidence booster entering Sunday’s quarterfinals.
“Importante kasi going to the playoffs, kailangan on a winning note,” said Pogoy as the twice-to-beat TNT will face Phoenix. “Mahirap ‘yung galing sa talo papuntang playoffs. Malaking boost ng kumpiyansa sa amin.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.