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    Last man from ’16 Gilas cadets, Roger Pogoy embraces 'kuya' role

    Feb 15, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    LAST man standing.

    That's how Roger Pogoy is in this new Gilas Pilipinas pool for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.

    Following the pullout of Mac Belo and Matthew Wright due to injuries, the TNT sniper remains as the only remnant of the 2016 cadets in this current iteration of the national team.

    And that fact isn't lost on him.

    "Pagpunta ko dito dati, kuya ko lahat. Ngayon, ako na yung tinatawag na kuya," he said with a chuckle.

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    At 27, Pogoy is still nearing the peak of his career.

    But in this Gilas pool peppered with young bloods geared towards the 2023 Fiba World Cup, he might as well be called a veteran. It's a role Pogoy acknowledges and embraces with open arms.

    "Sabi nga ni coach Mark (Dickel), maging leader kami kasi kami na yung matatanda," he said. "Malaki yung role namin kasi kami yung sinusunod ng mga bata. So kailangan namin ipakita kung ano yung maayos. Di kagaya dati na kami ang tinuturuan. Ngayon, kami na ang nagtuturo sa kanila."

    If Pogoy had his way, he'd love to still be working side-by-side with Belo and Wright in this new chapter.

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    Yet as much as he's the only one remaining from his batch, the 6-foot-2 sniper understands that it's just the nature of the beast when it comes to Gilas.

    "Sa totoo lang, gusto ko pa rin makalaro si Matt at Mac. Matagal na yung huli naming pagsasama. Sayang lang kasi may injury sila," he said.

    "Pero ganoon talaga. Ganoon naman dito sa Gilas, kung sino lang yung available, kami yung lalaro."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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