Sumang's surge lifts Blackwater over Alaska
Paul Lintag on Jan 15, 2017 07:20 PM
Roi Sumang and Denok Miranda were steady from the stripe late as Blackwater took over solo third after surviving Alaska.
Facing a signature comeback by the veteran Aces, the Elite turned to two of their young guns to bail them out.
Fortunately, those two young guns responded.
Roi Sumang scored 17 points in the second half to power Blackwater's surge, escaping Alaska with a narrow 103-100 decision Sunday the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome.
Sumang played big especially down the stretch, scoring an and-one play to give the Elite a 98-91 lead with 1:21 to go.
However, in typical Alaska fashion, the Aces refused to give up, cutting the lead down to two just 10 seconds later before Sumang flashed tremendous mental toughness, making another three free throws to create some much-needed separation. Up 103-100 with three seconds left, the Elite watched Calvin Abueva miss a wild three-point attempt and that was the game.
Sumang ended up with 19 points on 70 percent shooting but it wasn't actually him who led Blackwater in scoring. That honor belonged to rookie Mac Belo who put up 21 points on only 10 shots including a crucial conversion with 1:45 left that gave the Elite a six-point lead, stopping Alaska's 11-0 run.
The win snapped Blackwater's two-game slide and their fifth win against four defeats put them in solo third. Alaska dropped to 4-4.
"We really prepared hard for this game, we had nine days since we last played and isa lang yung sinabi namin sa mga players, if we want to beat Alaska, we have to have the same energy or maybe more than they have," head coach Leo Austria said.
The Elite did just that as they started to take control late in the third quarter and into the start of the fourth, firing a 14-0 run to take an 83-71 advantage. Blackwater led by as much as 14, 92-78, before Alaska responded with Abueva and Jvee Casio up front.
Both players ended up with 23 points apiece for the Aces, 11 each in the payoff period.
BLACKWATER 103 - Belo 21, Sumang 19, Buenafe 16, Dela Cruz 13, Aguilar 10, Sena 8, Cervantes 6, Miranda 4, Pinto 4, Ababou 2, Pascual 0, Gamalinda 0, Banal 0.
ALASKA 100 - Abueva 23, Casio 23, Manuel 13, Racal 9, Mendoza 7, Hontiveros 6, Exciminiano 6, Jazul 4, Cruz 4, Thoss 2, Pascual 2, Dela Cruz 1.
Quarterscores: 22-28, 45-49, 76-71, 103-100.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8