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    UAAP champs Rosario, Pogoy thrilled to finally win title as pros

    Long wait all worth it for first-time PBA champions
    Oct 31, 2021

    NINE players from TNT won their first-ever PBA crown after the Tropang GIGA beat Magnolia on Friday in Game Five of the 2021 Philippine Cup Finals.

    That included Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy, who enjoyed championships during their time in the collegiate ranks but had to wait quite a while before winning their maiden titles in the pro league.

    Rosario made UAAP history with now TNT teammates Glenn Khobuntin and Jhay Alejandro when the NU Bulldogs beat FEU to end the school's decades-long drought while becoming the first fourth seed to go all the way.

    Pogoy, on the other hand, won a UAAP championship the following year when the Tamaraws atoned from their defeat the season earlier by defeating the UST Tigers in the championship series.

    Jayson Castro and the Tropang GIGA celebrate the championship at the DHVSU gym.


    Aside from Pogoy and Rosario, other first-time PBA champions in the TNT camp are Finals MVP Mikey Williams, Poy Erram, Glenn Khobuntin, Kib Montalbo, Ping Exciminiano, and Chris Javier.

    Although he won championships in the PBA D-League and a gold medal three times in the Southeast Asian Games, Rosario said the PBA title is extra special.

    Well worth the wait

    “Sobrang worth it. Talagang matagal ko ng pinagtrabahuan na makakuha ng isang championship sa PBA. Ngayon, dumating na. Sobrang saya,” said the 29-year-old, who overcame a dislocated pinkie and spinal shock caused by a bad fall in the series.

    “Simula college hanggang pro, masasabi kong champion ako,” he added.

    While Rosario was drafted second overall in 2015 but through rights obtained by TNT in a trade with Terrafirma, Pogoy was picked by the Tropang GIGA in the special Gilas draft the year after, and he too had to endure a long wait.

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    “Sobrang sarap talaga,” said Pogoy. “Ilang years ko na hinintay ko. Five years kong hinintay ‘to. Thank God na binigay niya sa akin ‘to.”


      Now that he has won one, the 29-year-old Pogoy is excited with what lies ahead for the Tropang GIGA, saying he loves playing with his teammates.

      “Sobrang excited kasi all my teammates talaga, parang ang saya kasama. Parang magaan sa loob lahat," said the Cebuano hotshot. "Sobrang excited kami sa upcoming (conference) pa namin."


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