NO star, no problem.
That according to Roger Pogoy sums up the state of this season's Far Eastern University team, which moved a win away from the school's first UAAP championship in nine years following a 75-70 victory over National University on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The versatile Pogoy was a holdover from the FEU team that lost to Ateneo in 2011 - a talent-laden lineup that was led by league MVPs RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo and then Gilas mainstay Aldrech Ramos.
This season's Tamaraws have no such stars, but are now on the brink of achieving what that star-studded 2011 team failed to do, thanks to a team-oriented game.
"Mas ok ngayon kasi mas maganda ang pasahan at samahan," said Pogoy when asked to compare the two teams. "Last 2011 kasi medyo nag-focus kasi kami kina RR (Garcia), Terrence (Romeo) at Aldrech (Ramos). Pero ngayon wala na, kung sino libre tira kaya mas okay."
The Talisay City, Cebu native was used sparingly in 2011, but said he and fellow holdovers Mike Tolomia, Russell Escoto, and Carl Cruz gained valuable finals experience from it.
"Hindi naman ako sobrang gamit noong 2011 pero may advantage din sa amin na alam na namin ang pakiramdam sa finals na ganoon ka-pressure," he said.
That experience came to the fore in Game One when Pogoy stepped up to score 10 of his 14 points in the Tamaraws' game-breaking run in the third quarter. He also had four assists and two steals.
Pogoy said he was simply taking advantage of the opportunities.
"Tine-take advantage ko lang na ang tao ko ay 'yung helper nila Mike (Tolomia) at (Mac) Belo kaya open na open talaga ako sa corner," said Pogoy. "'Yun din ang sinasabi ni coach (na tumira ako) and nakikita ni coach na extra work ako sa practice kaya binibigyan ako ng lisensiya."