A VETERAN coach who also acts as manager of PBA rookie Roi Sumang has reacted to posts on social media by GlobalPort team owner Mikee Romero.
Sumang’s manager, Lawrence Chongson, told Spin.ph the former University of the East star has been left disheartened after reading comments posted on Facebook by Romero, who, of late, has taken to the social networking site to make revealing comments and 'blind items' about his players and team.
In his post last Tuesday, the outspoken Romero wrote: “1 rookie of Globalport will be dropped to the reserve list, after watching the game vs Meralco and being stolen the ball twice. This player has to get first more experience in the PBA Dleague”
Not yet done, Romero even put in a hashtag that went: "#NOTyetREADYforTHEPBA."
He also dropped in a 'clue:'
“(Clue: We now know the reason why he was not picked in the first 2 rounds of the 2016  draft),” wrote Romero.
Chongson, who also coaches Tanduay in the PBA D-League, said it was obvious Romero was referring to Sumang, who was taken by GlobalPort in the third round of the last rookie draft and has since been dropped to the reserve list.
“Si Roi yun, merun pa bang ibang rookie ang GlobalPort na napunta sa reserve list? Obvious naman kung sino ang tinutukoy. Siya lang ang rookie sa Globaport saka nakalagay pa run na no wonder sa first two rounds, walang kumuha,” said Chongson.
Chongson, who also handles the career of Rain or Shine star Paul Lee, said Sumang was hurt upon reading the post.
“Nasaktan 'yung bata kasi parang ang dating, walang kakayahan. Playing time lang naman ang kulang sa kanya kasi nagkataon na yung team na napasukan niya, marami nang superstars sa pwesto niya,” Chongson said.
“Personally, nasaktan ako more for Sumang, not for myself. Kasi ako, hindi na ko nagugulat sa mga ganyan, pero 'yung bata, baka syempre (na-down) kasi galing sa mismong owner pa,” he added.
Romero had also previously posted on Facebook a comment hinting at a looming trade for another GlobalPort player.
Contrary to what Romero said, Chongson said there was no doubt that Sumang can cut it in the pro league and only suffered the misfortune of landing in a team loaded with stars in his position.
“Kung talent naman, 'yung pinaka performance niya sa UAAP can very well speak for itself. Pero napunta kasi siya sa team na marami nang superstars sa posisyon niya,” he said.
Asked about the surprising actions of Romero, who is the only PBA team owner who criticizes his players on social media, Chongson groped for words.
“Ayaw kong sumama ang loob ko pero parang pwede mong sabihin na nakakagulat siya (sa ginagawa niya), pero hindi na rin ako nagulat. Parang hindi siya yung sa akin na hindi niya (Romero) kayang gawin,” he said.
“Kasi nakakabigla yung development na ganyan. Kasi team owner siya tapos magba-blind item. Pero knowing him, capable siya na gawin yun. Nagbibiruan nga kami ng mga kasamahan ko na parang team owner, pero magaling sa blind item,” he added.
“Somehow amusing, isang team owner, nagre-resort sa blind item. Pero obvious naman kung sino-sino yung mga tinutukoy (niya), di ba?” Chongson said.
Still, Tanduay's head of basketball operations said he owes Romero and the Globalport organization a debt of gratitude.
“Pero tumatanaw ako ng utang na loob, kasi nga, walang gumagalaw kay Sumang sa draft, sila ang kumuha. So tumatanaw ako ng utang na loob," said Chongson, who revealed Sumang was signed by GlobalPort to a rich two-year rookie contract.
"Pangalawa, maganda yung kontrata na binigay kay Roi, parang record nga yun for a third rounder eh,” he added. “Wala kami sa posisyon na magreklamo ha. Tanaw ng utang na loob pa rin ang number one ko, sabi nga nila: ‘Beggars can’t be choosers.'
Asked if there are teams already inquiring about Sumang, who is now on the reserve list of GlobalPort, Chongson nodded.
“Merun. Madami. Kaso nagtanong ako sa PBA, nasa protected list siya eh kaya hindi rin ako makagalaw,” said Chongson, who hinted that the team that Sumang needs to be able to come out of his shell is Rain or Shine.