Robert Bolick might have delivered the killing blows against Phoenix but he and head coach Pido Jarencio were giving half of the credit to Roi Sumang, especially with his excellent decision-making towards the end game.
With the team still behind 87-84 with a little over a minute left, Sumang scored on a floater before drilling a huge three-pointer that put NorthPort ahead, 89-87, with 40 seconds to go. He committed a defensive foul that sent Tyler Tio to the line to tie the game but made up for it with a gutsy play on the other end.
With the game on the line and the shot clock winding down, Sumang drove hard to the basket but was met with a double-team after Arvin Tolentino’s defender helped in shutting down the lane. He then issued a bullet pass in mid-air to the opposite corner that found Bolick who then buried the wide-open dagger trey.
That specific sequence allowed Sumang to earn praise from both Bolick and Jarencio.
“Open na open kaliwa niya kitang kita niya si Arvin pero ang hinanap niya si Robert, yung decision-making, buo yung loob ng bata kaya talagang no hesitation nung kinuha ko iyon,” said Jarencio.
“Magaling tong batang to basta makuha nya ang yung groove. “Yung game niya yan na yung Roi Sumang kasi college palang nagkapangalan na yung bata,” he added.
Jarencio said he never doubted the ability of Sumang since the 5-foot-8 spitfire had already made a name for himself in the collegiate ranks and will only need opportunity and confidence to perform – something he definitely got from Jarencio and the rest of the Batang Pier.
“From the start alam ko yung Roi Sumang sa college palang. Kinumpara na iyan kay Kiefer Ravena, UE and Ateneo, magaling yung bata kaunting playing time kumpiyansa mabalik niya yung laro niya,” Jarencio said of Sumang who provided the spark in NorthPort’s 11-2 finishing kick.
He also finished 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the build along with four rebounds and three assists – including the game-winning pass.
Bolick echoed Jarencio’s claims, noting that Sumang has been a great backcourt running mate for him.
“ Ang ganda ng fit namin kasi alam namin pag pagod na sya, ako na, pag medyo pagod na ako siya naman. Kagaya nung fourth quarter sabi ko ‘pre, ikaw naman’. Maganda ang ginawa niya, tatlong possession iyon, crucial yun, isang layup, isang three points tapos pasa nya pa sa akin.”