Filoil: Escobido, Sumoda deliver as San Sebastian makes quarterfinals
MANILA, Philippines—Slowly but surely, San Sebastian is filling in the void left by star forward JM Calma, drawing key contributions from its “other guys” to escape Jose Rizal University, 59-55, in Group B of the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.
Stags head coach Egay Macaraya said his players are now stepping up to the plate following Calma’s departure especially in such a crucial game like this nailbiter against the Heavy Bombers.
“They always accept the challenges. Now, I can focus on anybody. Before, we always relied on JM, which is bad because when he played badly, the other guys weren’t picking up but now everybody wants their playing time and NCAA spots,” Macaraya said at San Juan Arena on Tuesday.
One of the potential beneficiaries of Calma’s graduation is Jessie Sumoda, who sank the deciding bucket in the Stags’ quarterfinals-clinching win. He finished with a near double-double of 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Stags will face Group A leader National University in the quarterfinals, which begins on Tuesday.
The Heavy Bombers, who remained winless in seven games, With the Stags ahead by only two with still a little over a minute left, Sumoda forced his way inside for a three-point play to give his team a 59-54 cushion.
San Sebastian, who upped its record to 4-3, used a 16-4 run in the third quarter to tie the game at 42-all after trailing by 12 at the half.
Raymart Escobido scored a team-high 18 for San Sebastian.
Agem Miranda tallied 15 points, four rebounds and five assists for JRU, which remained winless in seven games. Jonathan Medina had 10 in a losing effort.