FOR Roger Pogoy, it’s payback time when his TNT takes on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup Finals—a race-to-four—starting Easter Sunday.
“I’m excited and thrilled to face Ginebra,” Pogoy, a former Far Eastern University standout, told BusinessMirror Wednesday. “We lost the last time we faced each other, so we’re hoping to get back at them.”
But Pogoy knows the Gin Kings are a tough opponent.
“They are more competitive now,” he said.
Ginebra and TNT faced off for the Philippine Cup crown at the Clark bubble in 2020 with the Gin Kings prevailing, 4-1.
Pogoy said that the only way to beat Ginebra is to play solid defense in every possession and in every second.
“That’s the only way to neutralize Ginebra and create our chances,” the 30-year-old said. “We have to disrupt their plays each time.
The 6-foot-2 Pogoy averaged 20 points and 4.6 rebounds ahead of the Finals this conference, numbers that complemented the contributions of Mikey Williams, Calvin Oftana, veteran Jayson Castro and all-around import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Hollis-Jefferson went 40-plus points twice in the semifinals, the last was a 42-point explosion when TNT eliminated Meralco, 107-92, in Game 4 of their series.
TNT will be squaring off with a Ginebra side coming off a semifinals sweep of San Miguel Beer, one that Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa said makes them the underdogs.
But Lastimosa still like their chances.
“Going into the series, I like my chances, my players are playing well,” he said. “I have Hollis-Jefferson on my side and I’m okay with that.”
Game 1 Sunday starts at 6 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.