IT was rookie Roger Pogoy’s way of giving back to his college coach.
The TnT Katropa guard registered a career-high 20 points in leading all Texters’ scorers in a 102-98 win over Globalport on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome.
The 24-year-old Pogoy fired 13 in the second half when the Texters erected as much as a 94-73 lead in the fourth quarter before surviving an explosive endgame rally by the Batang Pier.
“Binalikan ko lang si Coach Nash (Racela) kasi rookie pa lang ako, may tiwala na siya sa akin,” said Pogoy, referring to the first-year TnT coach who was also his mentor at Far Eastern University in college.
“Kaya it’s time to give back kay Coach Nash na magpakita para hindi naman mawala yung tiwala niya sa akin.”
Pogoy’s career game almost got spoiled by Globalport’s huge endgame run that saw the Batang Pier cut what was once an imposing 21-point lead to 100-98 in the final 24 seconds.
The Gilas cadet admitted Nash gave the Texters a piece of his mind inside the team dugout for nearly throwing away what was veritably a won ballgame.
“Medyo na frustrate siya kasi nga nung fourth quarter ang taas ng lamang namin tapos biglang…,” said Pogoy. “Gusto niya kasi may consistency.”
Pogoy also admitted he had a hard time defending high-scoring GlobalPort gunner Terrence Romeo, who had a game-high 35 points on 11 of 24 shooting including 6 of 11 from three-point range.
“Ang galing, e. Hindi ma-stop,” he said. “Kulang pa talaga, buti na lang tinutulungan ako ng mga teammates ko.”
Asked if he’ll be able to hold his own against his fellow FEU alumnus the next time, Pogoy couldn’t give a concrete answer.
“Tignan natin,” he said. “Ang importante one game at a time, sabi nga ni Coach Nash.”
And of course, consistency.