If there is one thing that is inevitable in sports, it’s age. At some point, our favorite superstars/players will succumb to age and their games will decline but that would also mean that the young guns will rise and will take their place at the mountain top.
And last Sunday, in the first game of the resume of the 45th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), we might have just seen the new “MAN” for the Talk ‘n Text (TNT) Tropang Giga.
In the game between TNT and Alaska, both teams featured multiple stars, there was Jayson Castro, Poy Erram, Troy Rosario, Vic Manuel, JVee Casio and Jeron Teng. It was RR Pogoy who took the spotlight and put on a show for everyone.
The 28-year-old shooting guard from Cebu dropped 45 points to help TNT complete their comeback, 100-95.
Pogoy’s new career high is the third highest all-time in TNT history behind the great Asi Taulava, who scored 50 points in the 2004 Fiesta Conference and 49 points in the 2003 Invitational Conference, according to PBA statistics head Fidel Mangonon III.
En route to his scoring explosion, the former Far Eastern University (FEU) standout drained 10 three-pointers as well, the most threes in a game since Chris Ross did it in the Game 2 of the semifinals of the 2019 Commissioners’ Cup for San Miguel.
Pogoy surprised everyone, including himself, with his 45 point outburst.
“Hindi ko alam na ganun na pala score ko, iniisip ko talaga manalo e. Tapos palagi pa kaming nag hahabol and gusto ko talaga manalo kaya di ko naisip na ganun na pala score ko,” he said in the post-game interview.
For years, the Tropang Giga, then known as the Tropang KaTropa, have always been the team of Castro, but it seems that Pogoy is now more than ready to take that the torch from the aging veteran in the future.
Although Castro is still capable of leading a team to glory, the 34-year-old veteran will surely experience decline in the near future and it’s safe to say that TNT is in good hands once that happens.
For the past two seasons, Pogoy has been averaging 16 points, 1.7 assists, 5.5 rebounds in 44.6% shooting at the field. With his best statistical performance coming from last year’s Governors’ Cup where he averaged 20.2 points, 5.2 rebounds while shooting 54% at field and 47% from the three-point area.
The high scoring two guard has proven himself to be capable of becoming the go-to-guy not only in the PBA but even in the international stage for Gilas.
I’m not saying that Castro is already a washed-up vet that needs to sit on the bench. I’m just saying that don’t be surprised if Pogoy becomes the most feared scorer in the league while leading the super team that is TNT to multiple championships in the near future.