ROI Sumang refused to get overwhelmed in front of one of the players he looks up to in the pros as he put up a superb performance off the bench for Blackwater in its 103-100 win over Alaska in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Sunday night.
The sophomore playmaker engaged JVee Casio in a veritable shootout down the stretch, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, three steals, and two assists in just 22 minutes.
Casio was in vintage form for the Aces, tallying 23 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 29 minutes as a starter.
“Si Kuya JVee, ibang klase yan. Sila rin 'yung mga idol ko rito sa PBA,” Sumang said. “[Pero] sabi nga ni coach, 'wag isipin kung sino yung kalaban. Gawin niyo lang yung dapat gawin sa court, so maganda naman kinalabasan.”
Sumang definitely had the last laugh as the Elite held on for the hard-earned win to improve to a 5-4 win-loss record.
The output was just three points shy of his career high he scored in the last Governors’ Cup.
Elite coach Leo Isaac was hardly surprised of the performance of Sumang, who stepped up with starter Nard Pinto having an off night.
“Alam naman natin kung ano ang pwede niyang gawin. You can backtrack to his collegiate days at UE,” Isaac said. “Tiyempo-tiyempo lang. Nard Pinto was not playing well, we had him in, we rested him, we had Denok Miranda in, Ael Banal was not playing well, so he got rewarded for playing well.”
“We're still sticking to our rule of whoever performs well gets rewarded with extra minutes,” he added. “And true to his performance, he was able to really showcase his talent again.”