After scoring a career-high 27 points in Game One, TNT rookie RR Pogoy has gone missing in action in the past two matches of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Pogoy went scoreless in Game Two and Game Three which KaTropa both lost to fall behind 2-1 against the San Miguel Beermen in the series.
But he remained unperturbed and dismissed talks of a slump, insisting that playing defense is his main role and scoring is not a priority.
“Yung trabaho ko talaga sa team, depensa. Tsaka yung mga little things, like rebounds, parang bonus na lang sa akin kung maka-score ako ng malaki. Kapag naglalaro kasi ako ang mindset ko talaga yung depensa eh, sunod na lang yung opensa. Ganun talaga parati. Basta magawa ko yung trabaho ko kahit zero point ako, at manalo kami. Ngayon kasi talo,” Pogoy told sportswriters.
Pogoy gave credit to San Miguel for adjusting its defense to make life difficult for him.
“Na-feel ko na kumo-close out na sila sa akin. May mga challenge na kung tumitira ako. Dati kasi libre eh. Mag-a-adjust rin ako,” he said.
The Gilas stalwart also said that him being scoreless wasn’t the reason why TNT suffered two straight losses in the finals.
“Hindi ko kino-consider na factor yung scoreless ako ng dalawang laro kaya hindi kami nanalo,” added Pogoy.
San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said containing Pogoy is now a majort part of his team’s game plan.
“Alam ng players kung sino ang dapat pigilin. We don’t want to have any of our players to have X on their foreheads na parang sini-shutan lang. Na-challenge naman sila,” he said.
For his part, TNT coach Nash Racela said he isn’t alarmed by Pogoy’s struggles on offense.
“As long as he’s making the right decisions, taking the right shots that he need to take. Kung open. If he doesn’t get it going, walang problema. I think it’s the same way with (Marcio) Lassiter. He was struggling a little bit and he was taking the right shots. Today, he contributed, starting to hit his shots,” Racela said.