Two-way player Pogoy brings back memories of great Alaska players

Roger Pogoy has suffered an injury that could prevent him from suiting up for Gilas Filipinas in the fast-approaching FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Photo courtesy of PBA Images.

As one of Philippine Basketball Association’s all-time greatest players, Jojo Lastimosa had seen great two-way players who were able to make teams successful in Asia’s pioneering professional cage league.

His teammates at Alaska helped the franchise in establishing a dynasty in the 1990s capped by a grand slam in 1996.

“I would say Johnny (Abarrientos) was one of those great two-way players. I have several more from Alaska — Jeff (Cariaso) was one of those and even Bong Hawkins was one of those,” Lastimosa told Daily Tribune in an exclusive interview.

“For me, I always want to look back at my teammates with Alaska that’s why we were successful before because we have a lot of good two-way players.”

With Alaska, Lastimosa won nine of 10 championships and the Milkmen were considered the team of the 1990s.

As new head coach of TNT, Lastimosa was able to experience it first hand coaching Roger Pogoy, whom he believes to be the best two-way player in the PBA today.

Pogoy dropped 20 points, 12 of them happening in the second half while also helping out in limiting Magnolia import Eric McCree.

McCree, a veteran of the National Basketball Association, was held to just 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field.

A mainstay of Gilas Pilipinas, Pogoy has built a reputation as defender against bigger guards in the PBA, including the imports.

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