TNT Katropa resurgence brings Troy Rosario closer to Rookie of the Year award
“Sa akin ngayon, hindi ko iniisip yun (Rookie of the Year). Yung success ng team muna. Gusto kong mag-champion, e,” says TNT freshman Troy Rosario. Jerome Ascano

THE individual award will just be the icing on the cake. All that concerns Troy Rosario is winning a championship in his very first PBA season.

And he’s right on track to doing that.

TNT Katropa continues to show the way in the Governors Cup and is among the favorites to romp away with the championship in the season-ending conference. It’s the best showing so far for the Texters this season after bombing out early in the playoffs of both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cups.

Rosario is one of the players credited for the team’s resurgence, especially after coming off an impressive first ever stint with Gilas Pilipinas during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament here last July.

His consistent showing for the season after emerging as the No. 2 pick overall in the last draft has made him a top contender for the coveted Rookie of the Year award.

The stretch 4 power forward admitted he’s having the best conference of his freshman year right now, but credited it more on the Texters winning games than they did in the league’s previous two tournaments. 

“Maganda rin kasi yung nilalaro ng team, kaya napapasama rin lang ako,” said the big man out of National University.

He said the team’s failure to make the semis the last three conferences has been a motivation for the Texters. The franchise hasn’t been to the Final Four since winning the Commissioner’s Cup championship last year against Rain or Shine.

“Kailangan talaga naming bumawi kasi ang tagal na ring di nakapasok sa semis ang TNT,” he said. “So gusto naman naming umabot ng semis muna, tapos trabahuhun 'yung pagpasok sa finals.”

While he welcomes contending for the Rookie of the Year plum, Rosario is also aware a slew of deserving candidates are also in the running for the once-in-a-lifetime award.

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“Yung Rookie of the Year marami rin akong kalaban kasi,” Troy said without mentioning names, but obviously referring to the likes of Rain or Shine’s Maverick Ahanmisi, TNT Katropa teammate Mo Tautuaa, Meralco’s Chris Newsome, and Scottie Thompson of Ginebra.

“Pero kung ibibigay sa akin, very thankful ako,” he stressed.

But for the meantime, he has his eyes set on ‘the prize.’

“Sa akin ngayon, hindi ko iniisip yun (Rookie of the Year). Yung success ng team muna. Gusto kong mag-champion, e,” Rosario said.

“Gusto kong maranasan yun, kasi hindi naman basta-basta nagkakaroon ng championship,” said the Gilas player, who was part of the National University team that won the 2014 UAAP men’s basketball championship and ended the school’s 60-year title drought.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos