MANILA, Philippines — With the game down the line, University of the East went to its smallest man with the biggest heart in Roi Sumang for their final play – and it paid off.
Down by 11 at the start of the final quarter, Sumang almost single-handedly lifted the Red Warriors to a 68-67 victory over University of Santo Tomas in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Thursday night, August 15 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The cat-quick guard poured in 12 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter, including the game-winner he made over Karim Abdul that lifted UE to its 4th straight victory.
“Sa first half nag-adjust ako kasi gusto ko mga teammates ko muna iiscore nung second half parang di na nag-click yung ginagawa ko, so ako na ang gumawa para sa mga teammates ko,” Sumang, who added 10 assists and four rebounds, said. “Sabi ni coach kung sino daw ang pinakamalaking puso, so ako nanaman, kinuha ko nanaman.”
The Growling Tigers looked perched to take the win early as they led the Red Warriors 58-47 after the 3rd but Sumang starred in a 12-0 run to start the final frame that put them to shared second in the standings with National University at 5-3.
Coming off a two-week lay-off due to the Philippines hosting the FIBA Asia Championship, both teams started the game on equal footing but UST took off in the second half, outscoring the Red Warriors 20-10 behind the combined 14 3rd quarter-points from Abdul and Kevin Ferrer.
UST, however, tried to fight back in the last 5 minutes as Ferrer sank a triple to gain a 4-point advantage but Lord Casejeros and Sumang combined to retake the lead and ultimately the win.
Charles Mammie put up another double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds while Ralf Oliveros scored 15 markers all in the first half.
Both teams were evidently still rusty from the long break as they committed 16 turnovers each but UE made a living from UST’s errors, scoring 16 turnover points to the Growling Tigers’ 8.
Abdul finished the game with 23 points on top of 20 boards while Clark Bautista, Ferrer and Ed Daquioag added 13, 12, and 12 to lead UST’s losing cause. – Rappler.com