ALTHOUGH the Gilas Pilipinas escaped with a 98-95 win over the Alab Pilipinas in their very first tune-up game in the preparation for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Cebuano wingman Roger Ray Pogoy is quick to admit that they still have work to do before they are truly able to play as a cohesive unit.
The Gilas was led by the 21 points of Cebuano behemoth June Mar Fajardo, while Pogoy, who was in town a few weeks back for the opening of the MVPSF Youth Basketball League, added 15 markers.
In an interview immediately after the closed-door game held at the Meralco Gym, the pride of Talisay City said they got the win off of their sheer effort and not necessarily because they played well.
“We’re not there yet as a team. I think we won because of our effort but we’re still working towards truly playing cohesive basketball,” said Pogoy, who has emerged as one of the leaders of the TnT KaTropa.
The Gilas led 92-83 with just three minutes to go but allowed Alab to come closer. Fortunately, Fajardo delivered in crunchtime, scoring 12 points in the final canto.
There are three Cebuanos on this particular Gilas squad. Aside from Pogoy and Fajardo, also on the team is big man Greg Slaughter, a product of the University of the Visayas.
“I’m happy to be teammates with Greg and Abai because in the PBA, we are always opponents. It’s a nice feeling to have some fellow bisayas on this team,” said Pogoy.
Stanley Pringle and Vic Manuel added 10 points for the nationals.
Gilas Pilipinas 98 -- Fajardo 21, Pogoy 15, Pringle 10, Manuel 10, Standhardinger 9, Aguilar 9,Ross 7, Thompson 7, Lassiter 3, Slaughter 3, Tenorio 2, Dela Cruz 2.
Alab Pilipinas 95 -- Vigil 18, Rosser 17, Forbes 15, Grey 14, Brickman 10, Domingo 9, Caracut 2. (Jonas Panerio)