Roger Pogoy not losing sleep over close Rookie of the Year race vs Wright, Jalalon
TNT forward Roger Pogoy on close race for the Rookie of the Year award: 'Kung ibibigay niya sa akin, eh di sa akin.' Jerome Ascano

IF it is meant to be, Roger Pogoy has no qualms receiving with open arms the season’s Rookie of the Year honor.

But if not, he also wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

Pogoy is currently in a tight race with fellow Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Matthew Wright for the PBA’s top rookie honor to be handed out during the annual Leo’s Awards before Game Four of the Governors Cup Finals between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco on Friday night.

Wright, a freshman who has already emerged as the top gunner of Phoenix this year, leads all newcomers in the cumulative statistical points standings with a total of 27.02 statistical points (SPs) after the semifinals of the season-ending meet.

Pogoy, who shares backcourt duties with Jayson Castro at TnT Katropa, meanwhile, is in second place with 22.29 SPs, followed by Star’s Jio Jalalon with 21.50 SPs.

But the 24-year-old TnT guard has managed to play in the finals of the Commissioner’s Cup right in his rookie year, and appeared in the semifinals of both the Philippine and Governors Cup, respectively.

Owing to that, Pogoy played for a total of 55 games in his first season, while Wright was limited to just 26 owing to the injury he suffered midway in the season and the Fuel Masters’ failure to go deep in the playoffs.

Still, the Cebuano guard doesn't want to raise his expectations.

“Siyempre andiyan naman sila Matthew Wright tsaka Jio (Jalalon). Si Lord na lang ang bahala. Kung ibibigay Niya sa akin, eh di sa akin,” said the shooting guard out of Far Eastern University.

“Kung hindi, okay lang din. Tingnan na lang natin kung kanino ibibigay.”

Winning the award will actually be just the icing on the cake for Pogoy, admitting  how blessed he was in more ways than one during his freshman year in which the Katropa consistently made it to the semis of all three conferences.  

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“Sobrang saya ko kasi first year ko pa lang, nasa finals na ako,” he stressed. “Tapos naka dalawang semis pa. So sa akin achievement na yun.”

It also helped that he has his college coach Nash Racela by his side in his first year as a pro.

“Hindi ko expect na ganito kaganda at ganito kalaki ang playing time na makukuha ko. Kaya nagpapasalamat din ako sa tulong tsaka gabay ni coach Nash,” said Pogoy.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos