CEBUANO basketball star Roger Ray Pogoy is already considered a veteran of the Philippine men’s national basketball team, having suited up for the Gilas Pilipinas for a number of years, including the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
In spite of his lofty status, Pogoy says that to this day, the entire experience remains surreal. After all, he says he was just a kid who grew up in Talisay City that dreamt to one day play in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Now a star for the Talk N Text KaTropa, Pogoy was recently named by basketball’s world governing body -- Fiba -- as one of the most improved players in the entire region. It is a feat that he is most proud of, and one that he says would never have happened had he was not given an opportunity to play for flag and country.
“It’s totally different when you have Philippines written on your jersey,” said the former University of Cebu Baby Webmaster.
Before he was recruited to join the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the UAAP, Pogoy was just a lanky but skilled kid who harbored dreams of playing in the PBA. But never did it occur to him that his basketball journey would take him far beyond that.
“Growing up, it never even crossed my mind that I would one day represent the country playing basketball. My only dream during that time was to make it in the PBA,” shared Pogoy.
Pogoy said he remembers the first time he got to put on a “Pilipinas” jersey like it was yesterday.
“My very first game for Gilas was in the SEABA Men’s Tournament. I recall being very happy at that time since it’s just totally different to be able to play for your country and to have the Philippines across your chest,” Pogoy said of that campaign in 2017 where he averaged 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
His Gilas debut could not have gone any better as he put up 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists in their 147-40 demolition of Myanmar.
Pogoy shared that he is happy with the recognition that FIBA gave him as it validates all the hard work he put in all these years.
“I’m quite happy that they recognized my improvements. All the extra work that I put in have really paid off,” said Pogoy. (JNP)