TNT KaTropa continued to make the most of what could be borrowed time with Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as the duo came through for the Texters in their 92-89 win over Blackwater on Friday night.
Pogoy posted a new career high of 24 points, two more than his previous high, on 11-of-14 shooting, on top of four boards, three assists, and one steal in almost 32 minutes of play as he stood at the head of a great TNT comeback.
Castro, on the other hand, was hobbled by foul trouble, picking up his fifth foul with still over a minute left in the third quarter, before making his presence felt in his return in the payoff period.
“It’s really nice to have Jayson and Roger in a team, but the reality we are facing is we won’t have them the whole conference,” TNT coach Nash Racela said ahead of the duo’s possible Gilas Pilipinas inclusion.
“We were able to survive the game today, because of their contributions, but still, we need to learn to play without them,” he added. “I know it’s an ongoing process. Despite the struggles, ang importante is us finding ways to win.”
Scoreless in the first quarter, Castro contributed 13 points the rest of the way, adding three assists, and two boards in 19 foul-plagued minutes.
But it was Pogoy who took over down the stretch as he scored 11 of his total output in the payoff period.
More than his offensive brilliance, it’s the two-way wingman’s defensive consistency that impresses Castro.
“Ganda, sa defense and offense makikita mo,” Castro said. “Maganda lang sa kanya di nawawala yung defense even maganda yung offense niya which is maganda para sa amin.”
It’s also good for the national team as Castro vouched for Pogoy’s inclusion.
“Oo naman, lahat naman ng nasa training pool may chance masama sa final twelve or fifteen,” Castro said.