ROGER Pogoy was once again a model of consistency for coach Nash Racela as he was one of the few bright spots in TNT KaTropa’s losing debut in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday.
The dazzling rookie finished with 15 points and nine boards, and even played point in the absence of Jayson Castro who just recently recovered from a hamstring injury, but wasn’t enough to prevent them from falling to the Meralco Bolts, 94-89.
But the former Far Eastern University standout was far from pleased with his performance, especially with his errors as part of his adjustment in running the KaTropa offense from the point guard position.
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A wingman all his career, there were times where Pogoy was forced to play the point, and he admittedly struggled as he finished with a team-high five turnovers for the game. Still, even with Castro suiting up for TNT soon, the 24-year-old Cebuano is willing to take on the challenge of improving his playmaking skills.
"Oo talagang kailangan namin si kuya Jayson. Pati nga ako nagpo-point guard e," Pogoy said after the match.
"Di naman ako nagpo-point guard talaga kaya nagtu-turnover din pero pagaralan ko na. Kasi may mga situation din na ganun e," he added.
While admittedly upset for dropping their first game in the Commissioner's Cup, Pogoy believes that TNT has enough time to fix their issues after dealing with an import switch before the start of the conference and playing without top gun Castro.
"Madami pa kaming aayusin. Ayun nga nagpalit-palit ng import, pero di naman excuse yun. Andami din naming mali. Andaming turnovers. Dun sila lumayo nung nagkaturnovers kami sa fourth," he said.
[See Meralco continues resurgence behind import Alex Stepheson]
Help, though, is on the way for TNT as Castro was in uniform but remained a mere spectator as his team struggled against the stingy Bolts defense.
Castro has been sidelined since Game 7 of the Philippine Cup semifinals due to a hamstring injury.
And while he’s already a full participant in practice, Castro believes that he still wasn't in full rhythm to play their in their opener.
“Nakaka-two full practices pa lang ako, mas maganda na hindi pa ako maglaro kasi wala pa naman ako sa rhythm," Castro said.
"Yun nga, yung two days na yun sobrang hard. Nag-prepare na rin sila sa Meralco na wala ako so okay lang," he added.
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His absence was definitely felt as the usually high-octane offense of the KaTropa went missing in the face of an impressive Meralco defensive stand.
he good news for TNT fans is that Castro's injury has now fully healed and that he's ready to play on Sunday against Phoenix at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
"Okay na, baka Sunday makapaglaro na ako."