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Pogoy could be back sooner for Tropang Giga

MANILA, Philippines – Finally, a bit of good news for injury-hit TNT.

RR Pogoy has shown significant recovery from his myocarditis heart condition and may return to action earlier than initially anticipated, Tropang Giga team manager and interim coach Jojo Lastimosa reported.

“Every two weeks may monitor si Roger pero yung last niya na supposed to be pinaka-final na MRI, stress test, thread mill, lahat, he passed everything. And then sabi nung doctors na nag-check sa kanya, instead of six months, we would probably see Roger in this conference,” he shared after receiving the “Executive of the Year” award from the PBA Press Corps.

Fingers crossed, Lastimosa is eyeing a potential comeback game for Pogoy as early as December 25.

“Nag-start na siya ng shooting, light workouts, weights, getting in shape. We could probably see him as early as Christmas day against Ginebra,” he said.

This is a welcome development for the Tropang Giga, who are also dealing with the absence of top scorer Mikey Williams and injured players Kib Montalbo, Paul Varilla, Matt Ganuelas Rosser and Poy Erram in the Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.

“That (Pogoy’s return) is a big plus for us. We miss Roger now that Mikey isn’t there,” he said.

For now, TNT (1-1) will have to make the most of its a short-handed crew led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jayson Castro and Calvin Oftana as it takes its next assignment against rejuvenated Terrafirma side (2-1) Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Dyip have posted back-to-back victories behind a souped-up cast led by shooter Juami Tiongson, top pick Stephen Holt, Javi Gomez de Liano, Isaac Go and import Thomas de Thaey.

“It’s a completely different team (Terrafirma). Meron na silang firepower other than Juami. Si Holt nandoon, this guy is a legit player and in his last game, maganda ang pinakita niya so we’re going to deal with that same player. Javi’s playing well, Isaac is playing well. We have our hands full, definitely,” said Lastimosa.

“We like our brand new team, the new players who came in. This time around, we really want to change the narrative of this team,” said De Liano, who fired a career-high 23 as they chalked up win No. 2 at