Pogoy, Racal collegiate awards’ Pivotal Players
They may have yielded the spotlight to their star teammates, but there’s no overlooking the big games of Far Eastern University’s Roger Pogoy and Letran’s Kevin Racal in their teams’ title runs.
The underrated duo emerged as finals heroes with Pogoy delivering in the clutch to help the Tamaraws capture their 20th UAAP championship and Racal sizzling in the series to power the Knights to their 17th NCAA crown.
“I kept thinking that it was my last game, so I gave it my all,” said Pogoy after the Tamaraws pipped University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, in the gripping series. Pogoy and Racal will receive the Pivotal Player awards in the Collegiate Basketball Awards presented by the UAAP and NCAA Press Corps and Smart Sports on Jan. 26 at Saisaki-Kamayan in Greenhills, San Juan.
The distinction is given to players who made an impact in the championship series.
Pogoy and Racal honored along with FEU mentor Nash Racela and Aldin Ayo —the rookie Letran tactician who recently jumped to La Salle—who have been named as 2015’s top coaches.
Other citations, including the Smart Player of the Year and the Collegiate Mythical Five, will also be handed out in the annual event.
Often overshadowed by Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, Pogoy shone in his own way in the deciding Game 3 when he fueled the Tamaraws’ comeback in the last four minutes, highlighted by a huge triple that pushed them ahead of the Tigers, 61-60, with 87 seconds left.
Racal averaged 20 points in the dramatic NCAA title series where the underdog Knights dethroned five-time champion San Beda.
Racal exploded for 28 points in the Knights’ 94-90 win in the series opener.