ROI Sumang didn’t take long to make his presence felt in what has become a crowded Blackwater backcourt as he delivered down the stretch in the team’s 99-91 win over GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.
In his second game back from a calf injury, the sophomore combo guard knocked down the dagger three-pointer over Nino Canaleta that gave the Elite a 97-89 lead with a little less than a minute left and took the fight out of the Batang Pier.
His injury prompted the coaching staff to sign playmakers John Pinto and Denok Miranda last conference, before taking Ael Banal with the top pick in the regular draft.
“Hinintay din lang namin na mag-fully recover si Roi then we inserted him back into the lineup,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said.
And Sumang was quick to repay his faith as he tallied nine points, including five in the payoff period, on top of two assists, two boards, and one steal while not committing a single turnover in 20 minutes off the bench against the team that drafted him in the third round last season.
Sumang, though, appeared to shy away from the spotlight as he slipped past reporters who were waiting to talk with him.
For Isaac, there was no surprise in Sumang’s play.
“Alam namin na magki-click si Roi not just for this game,” Isaac said of the former University of the East star. “Alam naman natin ang kalidad ng bata going back to his collegiate days Alam namin yung kakayanan niya.”
“I’m happy for him, nalampasan niya ang hump na gumgulo sa kanya, coming off an injury,” he added. “Sana magtuloy-tuloy.”