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Sumang explodes for 32 as Blackwater shocks NLEX in thrilling fashion to win back-to-back

Much maligned in his final year in UE and his first years as pro, Roi Sumang torched Araneta for 32 for Blackwater as they pip NLEX.
By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CITY--It was a night to remember for Roi Sumang, a player who never lacked the talent, but has seen his young pro-career go on an early challenging ride.

The former Univerity of the East stalwart served notice that he should not be under the radar anymore, going for a searing charge to spearhead Blackwater to a thrilling stunner over NLEX, 107-106, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as the Elite notched back-to-back wins in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Capped with a win, Sumang recorded his career-best of 32 points built around five triples and an efficient 60 percent shooting from the field.

The vicious scoring guard found his touch as early as the first half, especially in the second period where he scored 17 markers as the Elite brought the edge at the break, 59-56.

The then slumping Blackwater team gained the headstart in the second half courtesy of Mike DiGregorio who unfurled eight quick points as the team tried to slowly pull away.

Sensing trouble, the Road Warriors picked their acts together as they seized control going to the deciding frame, 86-84.

Rabeh Al Husaini found range in the fourth, hitting multiple midrange jumpers to provide a separation in favor of the Road Warriors.

A DiGregorio triple from the right corner with 8:49 gave the lead back to the Elite, 94-92, which was taken right back on the other end by newest Road Warrior Cyrus Baguio.

A tough turnaround triple from Henry Walker backed by another huge basket from the great beyond from Sumang gave the Elite a six-point distance with 2:28 remaining, 107-101.

But NLEX showed great resolve, not resting on its laurels to get back into fighting stance come crunch time.

Forcing key stops, the Road Warriors pulled to within one with less than a minute left, 106-107.

Both teams figured in a tussle of defensive chops in the ensuing plays.

After dodging a bullet on a wide open three-point attempt from Sumang, NLEX got denied of an easy breakaway layup from JR Quinahan whose attempt was blocked on a trail up job by Walker with 8.6 seconds to go.

Another crack at nabbing the precarious lead was given to the guys in purple, but Kevin Alas threw up a wild shot that went off the mark, barely three ticks left.

A stop was made anew on the next play, giving the Road Warriors another chance with exactly a second left but Larry Fonacier muffed the potential game winner on a good line.

The nail-biting win gave Blackwater their second win of the conference against three defeats. Winning their second straight, the Elite remain flawless since fielding in game-changing import Walker.

The dominant reinforcement chalked up 29 points, 15 rebounds and six assists against his former team as Blackwater slowly gets up from the slumber after a dismal start in the conference. They dealt the Road Warriors’ second loss of the conference to position them at the middle of the team standings with a 5-2 slate.

Alas posted a double-double in a losing effort, hoisting 19 markers and 11 rebounds. It was a rather silent night, meanwhile, for Aaron Fuller who just finished with 13 points and 11 boards in 42 minutes.

Follow him on Twitter: @patricksutare