From the very beginning, Roger Pogoy never expected that he would make a big impact compared to his contemporaries in Far Eastern University.
Playing third fiddle to the likes of Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, the Cebuano shooter has always just been regarded as a valuable role player.
But fate works in mysterious ways and Pogoy found himself back with a familiar face in Nash Racela, who is now calling the shots for TNT.
Fast forward to today, and the 6-foot-2 swingman is still in disbelief with what he has achieved in his first year in the pros as he won the Rookie of the Year honors this season.
“It’s indescribable. I feel nervous and I don’t know what to feel. I really can’t put to words what I feel right now. In my mind, it’s all a dream,” he said after receiving his trophy in the 2017 Leo Awards on Friday.
Pogoy seamlessly blended in with the KaTropa’s rotation, with Racela immediately thrusting him to the starting small forward spot.
There, the 25-year-old thrived as he learned from premier playmaker Jayson Castro and the rest of the veteran TNT core en route to them leading the squad to three semifinals appearances this season and a runner-up finish in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
Wrapping up his a successful first year in the pros, Pogoy thinks the award is a testament of the effort he put in under Racela.
“This is the result of my hardwork because every practice, I always do extra work,” he said.
But Pogoy remains unsatisfied as he hopes to receive a trophy the whole team could be proud of.
“I know I still have lots to work on. This Rookie of the Year award is just a bonus. What’s important is to be a champion and that’s really my goal,” he said.