Roi Sumang and Robert Bolick combined for NorthPort’s last eight points and towed the Batang Pier to a tense 92-89 squeaker of Phoenix Super LPG in an exciting first day wind up in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Known as the team’s spitfire, Sumang hit five straight points — a drive against Fuel Master import Kaleb Weeson and a go-ahead triple — that gave the Batang Pier an 89-87 lead with 40 seconds left.
Sumang had a bone head play after he picked up a foul against rookie Phoenix guard Tyler Tio, who hit the equalizing two free throws at the other end, but the veteran guard from University of the East atoned from his previous flop by coming up with another big play.
The spitfire guard was able to locate Bolick, who hit the dagger triple from the right corner with 12 seconds left in the game that served as the marginal basket.
“A win is a win,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio, who could only heave a sigh of relief after his team survived the a Phoenix team that played without its head coach Topex Robinson.
Robinson was placed under health and safety protocols, yet the the Fuel Masters were able to take control of the tempo for the most part of the game. They led by as many as 19 points, 26-7, in the early goings.
“I had a bad game, but Roy played a solid game and carried us,” added Bolick, who deflected the credit to his teammate’s all-around game.
Bolick, called by Jarencio as NorthPort’s own version of “Mr. Clutch” finished with 21 points while Sumang chipped in 15 markers.
NorthPort (92) — Bolick 21, Ibeh 19, Tolentino 16, Sumang 15, Santos 10, Balanza 6, Ferrer 3, Salado 2, Calma 0, Taha 0, Chan 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 12-28; 37-37; 61-65; 92-89.
Phoenix (89) — Mocon 24, Weeson 14, Serrano 10, Tio 10, Jazul 7, Camacho 7, Muyang 6, Lalata 4, Garcia 4, Rios 3, Lojera 0, Adamos 0, Robles 0.
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