ROGER Pogoy admitted the absence of import Glen Rice Jr. took its toll on TnT Katropa as the team failed to sustain its momentum in a 115-105 loss to Barangay Ginebra and bowed out of contention in the PBA Governors Cup finals.
The Katropa still managed to fight the Kings mano-a-mano even after Rice got ejected late in the first quarter, even building a 72-54 lead early in the second half.
But TnT’s firepower eventually sputtered when push came to shove, making the Katropa all the more miss the services of their prolific import, who averaged 30.3 point in the first three games of the best-of-five series.
Pogoy, who ended his season by scoring 14 points but was 1 of 7 from three-point range, didn’t deny TnT just couldn’t do it without the help of their 26-year-old import.
“Naapektuhan talaga kami. Kailangan talaga namin si Glen,” said the Gilas cadet shooting guard.
The rookie out of Far Eastern University added it was an unfortunate incident for the Katropa that happened just when the team was off to a fine start Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With TnT leading, 35-23, with 1:41 left in the first period, Rice was ejected out of the game for two successive technical fouls after shoving Ginebra rookie Kevin Ferrer and later on, throwing to him the basketball.
“Kaming lahat nagulat. Sayang momentum na sana,” said Pogoy. Pero wala, ganun talaga.”
Despite failing to win a championship right in his rookie year, Pogoy nonetheless still feel blessed to have been part of a TnT team that made the semifinals in all three conferences this season, including a stint in the finals during the Commissioner’s Cup.
The TnT gunner believes winning a title will eventually come to him at the right time.
“Siguro yung championship darating rin yan sa tamang panaho,” said Pogoy, who’s a leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year honor.