Roi Sumang takes over late as NorthPort recovers from bad start to clip Phoenix

Robert Bolick won it for NorthPort thanks to an assist from Roi Sumang. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Roi Sumang played hero for NorthPort as he made possible a late comeback to take a 92-89 win against Phoenix to begin their PBA Commissioner's Cup campaign on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Down six entering the last two minutes, the spitfire guard came alive in the endgame, scoring on back-to-back baskets before setting up Robert Bolick's game-winner.

Looking to sustain a solid start, the Fuel Masters held on to an 87-81 lead with 1:58 to play in the game.

However, new acquisition Arvin Tolentino sparked the Batang Pier's comeback with a three-pointer that cut the lead down to three with 1:48 remaining.

Sumang then came to work, scoring on a tough layup and a three-point basket to put them ahead, 89-87, with 40 seconds left.

However, he fouled Tyler Tio in the next play, and the rookie made two free throws to tie the game, 89-all, with 34 seconds left.

Sumang made up for it by passing the ball to an open Bolick for the right corner three with 12 seconds remaining.

Tio had a chance to tie the game, but he missed his three-point attempt and Jansen Rios turned the ball over after a bad inbound pass despite retaining possession.

Tio stole the ball off Arwind Santos' inbound pass, but with no timeout left, Tio fired a desperation heave that hit the top of the backboard as time expired.

Bolick finished with 21 points and six assists for NorthPort, which played for the first time after trading Jamie Malonzo to Ginebra.

Prince Ibeh chipped in 19 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and four steals.

Tolentino, one of the players acquired in the said trade, added 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a career-high four blocks.

Sumang finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal, while Santos put up 10 markers, 12 boards, one dime, one swipe, and two swats.

Javee Mocon put up 24 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and one steal, while Kaleb Wesson added 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, and two steals for Phoenix.

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