Sumang sparks Elite win over Aces
Roi Sumang rediscovered his old self and helped Blackwater to a 103-100 victory over Alaska Sunday in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The diminutive playmaker out of University of the East shone in the clutch as he took over for the Elite, who snapped their two-game skid.
“He’s Roi Sumang. We know what he can do. We can backtrack on his collegiate days in UE and he got rewarded for playing well today,” said Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac.
Sumang sparked Blackwater’s run with a confidence-boosting trey to end the third period before uncorking 10 of his 19 points in the fourth, including six of the team’s last eight points to secure the win. He went 7-of-10 from the field and also had three steals.
Mac Belo topped the Elite with 21 markers and seven rebounds as he kept his side afloat for the first three quarters before the team went on a huge run in the payoff period.
Sumang and Raymond Aguilar anchored Blackwater’s 14-0 blitz bridging the third and fourth frames for an 83-71 lead early in the fourth.
Alaska leaned on JVee Casio and Calvin Abueva as the duo carried the Aces to within one, 101-100, with 5.6 seconds left before Denok Miranda canned the marginal freebies.
The Aces still had a chance to force overtime, but Abueva misfired on his game-tying trey from the right corner as time ran out.
“We really prepared hard for this game,” said Isaac. “We told the players that if we want to beat Alaska, we got to have the same energy or maybe more than what they have.”
Ronjay Buenafe went 4-of-6 from threes to finish with 16 points and five rebounds, Art dela Cruz added 13 markers, and Aguilar fired seven of his 10 points in Blackwater’s finishing kick.
The Elite rose to solo fourth with a 5-4 card, while the Aces fell to joint sixth place, carrying an even 4-4 slate, same with Ginebra and Phoenix.
Abueva scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth, while also hauling down 14 rebounds. He committed seven turnovers, though, as Alaska turned the ball over 26 times.
Casio fired 23 markers on a 4-of-7 clip from beyond the arc that went with six boards and five assists, while Vic Manuel got 13.
BLACKWATER 103 – Belo 21, Sumang 19, Buenafe 16, Dela Cruz 13, Aguilar 10, Sena 8, Cervantes 6, Miranda 4, Pinto 4, Ababou 2, Pascual 0, Gamalinda 0, Banal 0.
ALASKA 100 – Abueva 23, Casio 23, Manuel 13, Racal 9, Mendoza 7, Hontiveros 6, Exciminiano 6, Jazul 4, Cruz 4, Thoss 2, Pascual 2, Dela Cruz 1.
Quarters: 22-28, 45-49, 76-71, 103-100.