ROGER Pogoy had to take over offensively for TNT in Game 6 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals as injuries kept key players out on Friday night.
In his own words, ‘nag-buwakaw ako ng kaunti.’
“Ganun talaga, e,” a smiling Pogoy said. "Nag step-up na talaga ako. Hirap talaga kung wala si kuya Jayson [Castro]. Kailangan talaga namin siya.”
Pogoy erupted for a game-high 31 points, but the numbers were not enough as the Tropang Giga lost, 114-96, against the San Miguel Beermen, extending the title series to a deciding Game 7 on Sunday.
The Cebuano gunner tried to carry TNT on his shoulders as he rallied the Tropang Giga from the depths of a 26-point first half deficit to get within 53-65 early in the third period.
But the absence of Castro and defensive stopper Glenn Khobuntin was just too much of a load for TNT as the Beermen stepped on the gas anew to stretch the lead back to 68-89 just before the quarter ended.
It didn’t help the cause of TNT that top gunner Mikey Williams was held to a PBA career-low of two points on 1-of-13 shooting from the field, including 0-of-8 from three-point range.
Pogoy said TNT can’t afford to have another slow start in Game 7 if it is to retain its all-Filipino crown.
“Kung gusto talaga naming manalo, hindi puwede yung ganun. Kailangan i-limit namin sila,” said the TNT guard, adding the Tropang Giga were obviously caught flat-footed by San Miguel’s fast start that saw the team score 40 first-quarter points.
If there’s any consolation, Pogoy said TNT still has one shot left at completing back-to-back Philippine Cup titles.
But he stressed one man can’t do it alone.
“I know si Mikey mag-bounce back talaga yan. And sana makalaro na si Kuya Jayson,” said Pogoy.