MANILA, Philippines — Roi Sumang drove to his left, blew by his defender Ed Daquioag then unleashed a layup over the outstretched arms of Karim Abdul with 11 seconds left.
The play wasn’t by design, but University of the East had no reason not to trust Sumang to take the game-winner to lift the Warriors past University of Santo Tomas, 68-67, on Thursday in the UAAP season 76 men’s basketball tournament.
“Coach said that he who has the biggest heart takes the shot. So I took it,” said Sumang in Filipino, huffing and puffing, after the game.
Sumang played 33 minutes, but wasted no time on the floor as he scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth — mostly on his dizzying drives to the hoop — while assisting most of his team’s attempts.
“It’s Roi again. He’s not only the heart, but also the head, said head coach Boyzie Zamar of his prized guard, who also dished out 10 dimes.
Sumang unleashed back to back fastbreak attempts to kick start a 12-0 blast to start the payoff period which chipped away the Tigers’ 58-47 edge.
UST regained hold of the game, 65-59, after an 8-0 run but the Tigers were made to pay for every missed shot or crucial miscue, like Ed Daquioag’s errant inbound pass, down the stretch.
The Warriors countered with a game-clinching 9-2 roll, the last four coming from Sumang, who even missed five three-pointers but still outscored the entire Tigers squad in the fourth.
UE gained share of second place along with National University with a 5-3 card, while UST dropped to 4-4, knotted with La Salle and Ateneo.
Center Karim Abdul, evidently gassed at the end of the match, towered with 23 points and plucked down 20 boards, outmatching Charles Mammie, who had 10 and 15.
The Tigers, who played sans Jeric Teng anew, also lost forward Aljon Mariano in the third quarter as he sprained his left ankle.