ROI Sumang pulled off another heroic effort as he scored the game-winning layup to lead University of the East to a 68-67 victory over University of Santo Tomas on Thursday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Sumang scored UE’s final four points, including a daring drive past Ed Daquioag and a clutch layup off UST big man Karim Abdul which gave the Red Warriors the upper hand with 11 seconds to play.
UST made a mess of its final offensive, with Kevin Ferrer recovering a loose ball and throwing up an off-balance shot that didn’t even hit the rim.
The Red Warriors improved their win-loss record to 5-3 and grabbed a share of second place with National University, while dropping erstwhile joint second-placer UST to a 4-4 card.
Sumang has won a game for UE for the second time this season, having also converted a four-point play to beat National University, 71-67, in July.
Down by three points following an Abdul free throw, Sumang scored on a fastbreak off a miss by Daquioag with 20 seconds to go.
UE got a big break with Daquioag’s wild inbound pass. Kevin Ferrer caught the ball but his foot landed on the sideline in front of the Tigers bench for a turnover, setting the stage for Sumang's game-winner.
“It’s not only the heart, but also the head,” said UE coach Boycie Zamar about Sumang, who finished with 20 points and 10 assists.
UE was down, 47-58, entering the fourth but pulled off the victory behind a late charge.
After a so-so first round, the Red Warriors are beginning to regain the form that earned them a preseason title as they won their fourth straight contest.
“Hindi naman ito cars or trucks na puwedeng palitan ang piyesa. I always tell them to be patient. Parang farming. Bubunga, may namamatay na bunga,” said Zamar.
It was a sorry loss for the Tigers, who led 67-64 with 2:43 left but failed to score after that.
UST also lost a key player when Aljon Mariano badly rolled his left ankle, the same ankle he injured in the preseason, midway in the third. He never returned in the game.
Ralf Olivares added 15 points while Charles Mammie had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Red Warriors.
Abdul had 23 points and 20 rebounds for the Tigers.
UE (68) – Sumang 20, Olivares 15, Mammie 10, Santos 6, Noble 5, Casajeros 5, Galanza 3, Sumido 2, Javier 2, Olayon 0, Pujante 0, Jumao-as 0, Hernandez 0, Guion 0.
UST (67) – Abdul 23, Bautista 13, Ferrer 12, Daquioag 12, Mariano 4, Hainga 2, Lo 1, Sheriff 0, Pe 0, Faundo 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21; 37-38; 47-58; 68-67.