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    Roger Pogoy is called 'Bogdan' by Gilas teammates. Here's why

    May 27, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    DON’T be surprised to hear friends of Roger Pogoy teasing and calling him ‘Bogdan.’

    Bogdan as in Bogdan Bogdanovic, the deadly Serbian snipper who plays for the Sacramento Kings.

    The TnT Katropa guard became an instant fan of the 6-foot-6 Bogdanovic upon seeing him up close and personal during the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

    Pogoy recalled being left in awe by Bogdanovic after a hot streak at one point in Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Serbia, which the Filipinos lost badly, 126-67.

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    “Nung kinalaban kasi namin yung Serbia, nakaupo kami sa bench, tapos kada tira ni Bogdan, pasok. Kaya sabi ko, 'Ibang tao ito, ah,'” said Pogoy, laughing about the experience with fellow Gilas members CJ Perez, Mark Barroca, and Jio Jalalon in the PBA Kamustahan.

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    “Ayaw mag-mintis, kada tira pasok.”

    The 27-year-old Serbian, a first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft, torched Gilas on 6-of-8 shooting to finish with 17 points in the 59-point blowout.

    Pogoy was a Bogdan fan from then on.

    Barroca recalled one incident he and Pogoy – his Gilas roommate – met Bogdan in the massage room.

    “Nagpunta kami para mag-pamasahe. Nakita namin si Bogdan, ginawa niya (Pogoy) akong photographer,” said the Magnolia Hotshot playmaker. “Sabi niya sa akin, 'Sige na kuya, picturan mo ako. Minsan lang yan, hindi na natin makikita yan.'”

    “Doon na sumikat yung ‘Bogdan,’” added Barroca, who is among the Gilas players who kept on calling Pogoy by the Serbian’s name.

    There would be a lot more chance meetings between Pogoy and his idol, mostly in the dining hall for players.

    “Pag makita niya sa kainan lagi niyang kinakausap, (parang) syota niya na,” said Barroca amid more laughter from his fellow national teammates.

    “Pag nakita niya iiwanan niya na ako. Basta makita niya lang ulit araw-araw.”

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    "Para siyang kinilig," added Perez.

    Pogoy admittedly had a forgettable shooting stint during the World Cup, where Gilas finished dead-last by losing all its five outings.

    But Bogdan Bogdanovic was one unforgettable sight. The name even stuck.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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