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    "He's not above the law," says UE coach Derrick Pumaren on decision to bench star player Roi Sumang

    Aug 31, 2014
    UE star player Roi Sumang was meted a disciplinary action by coach Derrick Pumaren as he benched during the Warriors' game against National University. Jerome Ascano

    UNIVERSITY of the East star player Roi Sumang was benched by coach Derrick Pumaren as a disciplinary action after leaving the school’s quarters on Friday night without permission from school officials.

    Pumaren bared to mediamen Sumang wasn’t around the UE quarters on Friday night and only got back Saturday morning without informing him or any school officials.

    The soft-spoken coach said Sumang cited headache as reason for leaving the team quarters, but already learned about it after receiving a text message from the UE star at exactly 11:16 p.m of Saturday.

    That prompted Pumaren to sit out Sumang in an all-important game against National University, which the Red Warriors fortunately won, 64-55.

    “He is Roi Sumang but he is not above the law,” said Pumaren during the postgame press conference.

    “He didn’t give anything, even a simple text as to what happened. By the time I got a text it was like 11:16 in the evening on my phone. How the hell can he play? It’s unfair for the guys,” said the coach.

    Pumaren expounded as to what transpired that led to the disciplinary action on Sumang.

    “He didn’t sleep in the quarters at around 7 or 7:30 p.m. He got back at the quarters at around 9:35 a.m. Our practice was at 9 a.m. Instead of giving us any information as to what happened, he just stayed there in the quarters and slept,” said Pumaren.

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    Sumang was in uniform for the NU game, but even that could not stop Pumaren from giving the UE star a sanction.

    “I didn’t hear anything from Roi so there is no reason for him to play,” said Pumaren.

    Sumang declined to be interviewed by the media when asked for his side. He only said “Ako na naman, hindi nga ako naglaro” as he left the Big Dome premises in a huff.

    Pumaren was obviously disappointment with what happened since UE just had a team meeting last Thursday with executive vice president and team manager Carmelita Mateo as the Warriors begin their final push for Final Four bid.

    “We got a commitment that they will go all out and play all their best to stay alive. Roi was the one very vocal in the meeting. But I don’t know what happened.

    “I think it is disrespectful to the management, to the team, and to me as a coach, by not giving or saying anything. They are still students. We just have to give that disciplinary action,” said Pumaren.

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    UE star player Roi Sumang was meted a disciplinary action by coach Derrick Pumaren as he benched during the Warriors' game against National University. Jerome Ascano
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