CHRIS Sumalinog may have stuck a dagger into the hearts of his hometown Casino Ethyl Alcohol-Cebu City Sharks in their heated game in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup on Thursday night, but the moment was not an easy one to bear for the Cebuano.
Down by just two points, 70-72, after a long pursuit from a 14-point deficit, the Sharks got sunk by the former Don Bosco standout who made a layup to extend the Bacoor Strikers’ lead to four and pave the way for a 76-71 win in their opening game.
Afterwards, the former Talk N Text and Alab Pilipinas player recounted how difficult it was for him to be the one to finish off his hometown squad.
“It was very difficult. Siyempre, I am a Cebuano. But that’s part of my growth as a professional athlete, that no matter where I am playing or whatever jersey I have on, I have to do all I can to win,” said Sumalinog, who tallied 22 points, seven boards and two blocked shots against the Sharks.
“At the end of the day, I am playing this game to also inspire other people especially those from my hometown, that they can play at this level no matter what their background is.”
Sumalinog also had some high praise for the Sharks, especially their defense.
“Cebu is a strong team. Their defense was very nice and physical. Our team had several lapses on defense and we relaxed when we had that big lead. Cebu took advantage of the opportunity and rallied. Fortunately, we got the win but Cebu is tough,” added Sumalinog.