Far Eastern University senior Roger Pogoy and Ateneo de Manila University’s Jerie Pingoy both came to Manila together with dreams of making it big.
“One year lang kami nagkasama sa Cebu kaso hindi sa CESAFI. Sa isang city and provincial-wide games kami nagkasama,” the two friends shared.
“Siya yung nagdala sa akin dito sa Manila,” a grateful RR Pogoy said of his best friend Jerie. “Siya actually nagsabi kayla coach Richie [Ticson] na kunin yung Pogoy, magaling yun,” he reflected. While Pogoy was making his mark in the seniors division of the UAAP as a Tamaraw, Pingoy was leading the school’s juniors team to multiple titles.
But then, the two former University of Cebu Junior Webmasters went their separate ways as Jerie Pingoy committed to enter the Ateneo de Manila University for his tertiary education. Unfortunately for Pingoy, the UAAP board of representatives extended the residency rule for student-athletes transferring to a rival university that forced the former UAAP Juniors MVP to sit out for two years.
It was painful for Pogoy to see his close friend on the sidelines for two whole years. The two would still exchange messages of support during the entire ordeal. According to Pingoy, Roger always advised to him to just keep working hard: “Sabi niya sa akin is to [always] work hard kasi future natin ito.”
After two years of waiting, Pingoy made his UAAP Seniors debut. Ironically enough, it was against the FEU Tamaraws. The night before the big game, Pogoy jokingly texted Pingoy to prepare for a war. “Niloko ko nga siya bago mag game, maghanda ka, maghelmet ka,” he quipped. “Pero jojoke lang kasi best friend ko siya.”
Hearing the FEU Boosters beat their drums in the pre-game pumped Pingoy up as he reflected on the good years he spent with the Baby Tamaraws. “Masaya ako kasi that’s my past school. Alam mo yung marinig drum[beats] of your old school.”
The game between the FEU and Ateneo, however, turned into a blowout with the Tamaraws winning by a huge margin, 88-64. The versatile FEU wingman top scored for FEU with 19 points on 7/12 shooting and added three boards and two dimes. On the other hand, the rookie guard was held scoreless in 21 minutes of action. For Pogoy, more than the win, he was more than happy to see his friend on the court. “Masarap. Sobrang excited ko na makalaro siya.” He also defended the bad outing of Pogoy in saying that he just had a bad game. “Bad game nga lang siya, sabi ko sa kanya madami pang games. Babawi yan kasi alam ko magaling siya.”
Pingoy did not admit that he was excited to finally suit up for his college team. “Wala din naman gigil on my part. We just played our game. Bad game lang talaga. We’re gonna bounce back for sure,” Pingoy told Tiebreaker Times. However, his best friend noticed that this was not how Pingoy played. Pogoy remembered telling Pingoy at one point during the game to relax and let the game come to him. “Relax lang sabi ko sa kanya. Kaso parang gigil siya kanina.”
After the dust settled, Pogoy went to Pingoy and reminded him that this was just one game. “Okay lang yan kasi first game pa lang. Babawi ka niyan,” was what the FEU Senior told Pingoy after the game.
“Lesson learned for us. Babawi kami,” said Pingoy when asked about his thoughts on the game. “They [FEU] really are a good team. Sila talaga yung top contender this season.” Looking back, even if he had to sit out two years, Ateneo’s floor general does not regret anything. “No regrets talaga. I chose this school and we play with pride for Ateneo.”
24 hours after the game, Pogoy continuously reminds his friend to keep working hard as he tweeted:
— Rr Pogoy (@rogerpogz16) September 7, 2015
To which Pingoy replied:
Thank you pogs! Good game pud and good luck sad sa next game nimo bestfriend gihapon taka!! 🙌👍 https://t.co/5Ch77OlKX2
— Jerie Pingoy (@Jeriepingoy) September 7, 2015
Sports has a harsh way of creating rivalries. Even in playing for opposing sides, Roger Pogoy and Jerie Pingoy have still maintained their friendship and still have the same dream of making it together.
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