Lesser lights deliver for Gilas in rout of India
TAIPEI – In his warm up pants and a Gilas Pilipinas shirt, RR Pogoy was one interested man in a place he really doesn’t belong: inside the press room.
After sitting out his first game in the Jones Cup Invitational, Pogoy went with Almond Vosotros and Von Pessumal and coach Chot Reyes for the interview, filming his teammates after a job well done that saw the Filipinos manhandle India, 101-70 on Saturday afternoon at Taipei Peace Basketball Hall here.
Pessumal and Vosotros made not only Pogoy, but the entire team proud after shooting 14 points each and delivering when called upon for the first time.
“I’m just so happy for them,” Pogoy said in Filipino while shooting Vosotros during the interview. “They both played very well.”
Bitter rivals in the UAAP with La Salle and Ateneo, Vosotros and Pessumal made sure that Reyes wouldn’t miss Pogoy’s outside sniping after hitting four triples each in a combined 17 attempts that helped the Filipinos break away.
It was the fifth win in eight games for Gilas, which closes it out against Iran Sunday at 5 p.m., a game which Reyes said that team will be taking very seriously.
“We wanted to give a lot of minutes to the guys (young players),” Reyes said. “One of our objectives for participating here was to prepare our SEAG (Southeast Asian Games lineup) and Von and Almond are integral parts of that lineup.”
“We’re just thankful for the opportunity to play,” Pessumal, the former Eagle in the UAAP, said. “We knew our teammates were tired after seven straight games and we had the mindset of helping the team. We just stayed ready while waiting for the opportunity.”
Mike Tolomia, Ed Daquioag and Fonzo Gotladera also saw major minutes, with Carl Cruz giving out his usual contributions. All of them will be in Kuala Lumpur eyeing the Philippines’ 18th gold medal in the biennial meet.
“It was just a great testament to our players that they are ready despite not getting the minutes (in the past games),” Reyes said with pride. “That’s why we brought the kind of players we brought here – for depth.”
Tolomia played 25 minutes and finished with eight points and five assists, ably taking the place of Kiefer Ravena and Jio Jalalon as both played just a combined 21 minutes at the point.
“We have very able players to step in.”
It turned out that one of the reasons why Pogoy made his way to the press room was to find out whom between Pessumal and Vosotros was going to talk longer during the interview.
Reyes himself bared that Pogoy won the bet, having put a wager on Pessumal.
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