CEBU CITY – For a rookie who only wanted to earn some minutes in a loaded TNT KaTropa roster, Cebuano swingman Roger Pogoy has sure done well.
The pride of Talisay City was named the PBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 30 games, beating Gilas Pilipinas teammate Matthew Wright of Phoenix for the once-in-a-career honor.
The award came as a surprise to Pogoy, who admitted to having just modest goals heading to his rookie season after getting selected by TNT during the special PBA draft.
“I can’t describe how I felt when I heard my name called,” shared the University of Cebu product, the same school that helped June Mar Fajardo become the reigning four-time MVP.
“It really wasn’t my goal to become Rookie of the Year. It never crossed my mind. I just wanted to earn some playing time,” said Pogoy.
It helped that Pogoy landed in the most ideal of positions under a coach who was familiar with his style of play in Nash Racela, his mentor in college at Far Eastern University.
He also got a lot of help from the TNT veterans.
“They all helped me grow as a player and as a person. The veterans – sila Kuya Del (Ranidel de Ocampo), Kuya Jayson (Castro), Kuya Kelly (Williams), Kuya Harvey (Carey) and Kuya Ryan (Reyes), they taught me how to be consistent in every game,” said Pogoy.
The award notwithstanding, Pogoy said he recognizes the need to improve his game to help the KaTropa return to winning ways.
“I need to improve and develop my game next season. That’s the goal moving forward,” Pogoy said.