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    Defense-first Pogoy shows he's ready for bigger offensive role at TNT

    Jan 24, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    RR POGOY is accepting a much bigger role on offense for TNT this conference - and showed right away he's ready for it.

    Pogoy scored 20 points on Wednesday in TNT’s 85-80 win over NLEX on Wednesday in the Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Ever since his days with Far Eastern University in the UAAP, Pogoy has been known for being a defensive player. But with the KaTropa needing firepower on the offensive end following the trade of Terrence Romeo and an injury to Troy Rosario early in the conference, Pogoy is accepting the larger role on offense for TNT.

    “Unang una, parang kinakabahan ako sa role na ‘yun kasi FEU pa lang, defensive player na ako eh. Second na ‘yung offense,” said Pogoy, who prior to the game was averaging 25.5 points and 14 rebounds per outing.

    “Pero ngayon, tinetake ko as a challenge ‘yun kasi binigyan talaga ako ng play nila ni coach para sa opensa,” he added.

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    To prepare himself for the offensive role, Pogoy said he is taking extra time working on his shooting in practice to get his confidence going.

    “Sa practice, mas doble ‘yung ensayo ko. Minsan nagbe-break sila, ako nag-eensayo ni coach para hindi ako kabahan sa totoong laro na dahil alam ko ineensayo ko ‘yung mga tira ko,” Pogoy said.

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    Despite the improvement on his offensive game, Pogoy said he still wants to wait for opportunities to score, instead of creating his own shot, an aspect of the game that his teammate Jayson Castro thrives.

    “Hintay hintay lang talaga ako kay Kuya Jayson. Si Kuya Jayson, kaya niya lahat. Kaya niyang umatake, kaya niyang tumira. Ako aban-abang lang. Kung nahihirapan na siya, doon pa lang ako,” said Pogoy.

    That exactly happened in the waning moments of TNT’s win. Off a drive, Castro found Pogoy wide open for the three to make it an 82-77 game with 43.7 seconds left in the game, the shot proving to be the biggest of the match.

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    “Hindi sa akin ‘yung play. Pero wala nang mapasahan si Kuya Jayson nakita niya ako. ‘Yun ‘yung sinasabi ko na abang-abang lang ako,” Pogoy said.

    Pogoy said he is glad that TNT finally broke out of its losing spell to begin the Philippine Cup after three matches. He also hopes more wins will come for the KaTropa following the big win.

    “Kung ganito parati, kahit hindi ako umiskor ng 30 basta manalo, kahit 10 points, five points lang basta manalo kami,” said Pogoy.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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