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Late Pogoy blast reminds Cone of Caidic

RR Pogoy was all over the place late in Game 4. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--TNT did not go down without a fight in Game 4 of the PBA Finals against Ginebra on Sunday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

With them down 18 with 10:22 left, a Troy Rosario layup in the next play sparked the Tropang Giga's comeback bid.

However, it was RR Pogoy who sizzled during that stretch, scoring 16 of their next 22 points capped by three straight triples as they cut the Barangay's lead down to three, 91-88, with 2:07 to play.

While Ginebra would survive by ending the game on a 7-0 run, Coach Tim Cone could not help but give a fun talk to Pogoy post-game.

"He came over to shake my hand, and I said, 'I don't wanna shake your hand.' I won't tell you what I said. It's a Tagalog swear word at him, and it was a joke," Cone bared how that moment went, which ended in a friendly hug.

However, Cone also said that he was reminded of another player's explosion against his team a long time ago.

"[With] the ability to get shots and shoot them with hands in your face and guys flying by you, [I was reminded of] Allan Caidic," the winningest coach in the PBA championship-wise said. "I remember [the time] Allan hit our team and went for 70 points."

Caidic did not exactly drop 70 on Cone's squad, but he came just close to that.

The "Triggerman", then playing for the Great Taste franchise which bore the Tivoli name that time, scored 68 points on Alaska in a 175-159 win on Nov. 2, 1989.

"I know what it's like trying to guard Allan," said Cone, who was in his rookie season as a coach then. "We have everybody guarding him."

Caidic's 68-point output stood as the highest single game tally for a local until Bong Alvarez sizzled with 71 points for the Aces in a 169-138 victory against the Shell Turbo Chargers on April 26, 1990.

So when Pogoy was feeling it, flashbacks of Caidic's outburst quickly entered Cone's mind.

"It's that same sense. Whenever he's open and he has a shot, it's like 'Oh oh! It's gonna go in,' and when it doesn't go in, it's a big surprise," he further said. "He was absolutely amazing."

Luckily for Cone, Ginebra held on as Pogoy was held scoreless in the final two minutes.

Caidic would reclaim the throne as the PBA's single game local scoring leader when he blasted for 79 points in just three quarters for the Milk Masters in a 162-149 win against the Barangay on Nov. 21, 1991.

While this performance remains in the league's record book up to this day, it also turned out to be one of the Great Taste franchise's last shining moments as after a forgettable 1992 season, the club disbanded.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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