Roi Sumang proved what he’s capable of doing even at crunch time as the rookie guard buried a triple with 0.8 second to help lift Blackwater to a 77-75 win over the tall Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank-China in the 2016 Penang Chief Minister Cup International Basketball Invitational Championships on Sunday at the Han Chiang Indoor Stadium in Penang, Malaysia.
Sumang, acquired from Globalport in a trade by the Elite last month, was just in the right place at the right time, taking an inbound pass from Art dela Cruz with three ticks before launching the top-of-the-key triple against Lu Wenbo.
When Sumang’s desperation heave swished in it sparked a frenzied celebration from the Blackwater bench and the small Filipino contingent.
Though the Chinese had one last chance to snatch the win, 6-foot-11 Lai Junhao’s own desperation three from the corner did not even hit the rim, allowing the Elite to book their 3rd straight win in as many starts.
Despite its gritty win over the tournament top favorite, Blackwater still needs to beat Karnataka State-India (1-2) and the Malaysia Dragons (2-0) to win the championship outright.
For a while, the Chinese seemed poised for the win as Carlo Lastimosa muffed 2 foul shots with 21.2 seconds to go and Zhejiang Chouzhou ahead by a hairline, 75-74.
But Blackwater got the much-needed break when Chinese sharpshooter Wu Qian muffed his own pair of free throws off a Lastimosa foul, which eventually led to Sumang’s endgame heroics.
Reil Cervantes led the Elite with 13 points and 7 rebounds, backup big man Kyle Pascual added 9 and 7 boards, while playing a big role in limiting the 7-foot-1 Chinese slotman Zhang Dayu to just 6 points and 5 rebounds.
James Sena also contributed all 8 of his points in the last quarter.
Blackwater 77– Cervantes 13, Sumang 12, Pascual 9, Sena 8, Lastimosa 7, Bulawan 6, Dela Cruz 5, Gamalimda 4, Canada 4, Erram 2, Tiongson 1.
Zhejiang Chouzhou 75 – Wu Qian 26, Xia Yubo 14, Lai Junhao 10, Deng Yuzin 9, Zhang Dayu 6, Zhang Yong Peng 6, Lu Wenbo 4, Liu Fengbo 0
Quarters: 18-23, 40-36, 56-63, 77-75.