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Stats Don’t Lie: Can Super Sumang save UE’s season?



Can Super Sumang save UE’s season?

Ask anyone you know who plays basketball, and I can guarantee you that at least once in his life, he has shot around at his local park and simulated a late-game situation where he has the ball in his hands at the top of the key, his team down by a bucket and everyone and his lola counting on him to deliver. While he’s dribbling around, channeling the spirits of clutch players like James Yap and Paul Lee, he’s saying out loud:

“5…4…3…2…1…. SWISH!!! Who’s the man? WHO’S THE MAN?! 

Super Sumang was the protagonist to, arguably, the most iconic shot of the UAAP Season 76’s basketball tournament.


It was a Paul Lee-esque shot… WITH PAUL LEE IN ATTENDANCE! After that classic showdown with the Bobby Ray Parks’ led Bulldogs squad, Roi Sumang was crowned the heir to the Leethal Weapon and the absolute King Warrior.
This season, Roi Sumang has had this opportunity not once but TWICE. Unfortunately, he came up short both times.

After opening the season with two solid outings, the Red Warriors have dropped their last 3 games, all of which they led by at least 7 points at one point. This puts the team in a rather uneasy position, as it still has games against the Blue Eagles (August 10) and the Growling Tigers (August 13).

Expectations for the UE Red Warriors were high entering Season 77 especially since the team retained several veterans and even added foreign student-athlete Moustapha Arafat to their lineup. Coupling this with a couple of ass-whoopings against cellar dwellers UP and Adamson only hyped up the team even more. With the race wide open – aside from the aforementioned winless teams, the remaining 6 teams all have a legit chance of making the finals – their fan base was saying that UE’s time might be now.

Fairly or unfairly, Sumang is burdened with the weight of these expectations.

The question is, can Sumang bounce back and lead his team back?

First let’s take a look at Roi Sumang’s performance compared to that of last season.

SEASON 7619.35.34.5
SEASON 7710.63.44.2


The drop in Sumang’s averages can be attributed to this surprising statistic:

SEASON 7635.7
SEASON 7724.7


He’s playing far less minutes this season, just 24.7, compared to 35.7 MPG last season.

He’s also had less responsibility on offense, as the team is spreading the wealth. Entering the NU game, they had 7 guys average 7 or more points.

However, a look at his per-30 minute figures shows that only his scoring has dipped so far.

Per 30 minutes numbers:

SEASON 7616.34.43.8
SEASON 7712.94.15.1


Interestingly enough, Sumang is shooting slightly better this season compared to last season.

SEASON 7636.1%
SEASON 7737.7%


But he’s taking 6 LESS shots per game this season.

Normally, a coach would probably be okay with this, as it means that everyone is getting their looks. However, with UE’s season at a crossroads, one can’t help but wonder whether Coach Derrick Pumaren will be more inclined to give Sumang more opportunities to get his rhythm going and lead the Warriors in battle.

So what can we expect UE to do over the next couple of games to get Sumang going?

First, don’t expect UE to stop their vaunted press, whether or not it’s working. Derrick Pumaren is a proud man and there’s no way he’ll be locking up his family’s bread and butter defense just because the Warriors aren’t getting steals. Besides, it’s the best way to get Sumang some easy buckets in transition. He’s one of the quickest players in the league right now and with UE’s blitzing press break, he should be getting more opportunities to score on the break. He’s currently 7/9 on isolation fastbreak opportunities and he should continue to look for these.

Second, we may see them play back-up point guard Dan Alberto – who by the way, is playing outstanding basketball and shooting LIGHTS OUT – and Roi simultaneous. Not only would this add another shooter on the floor to help open driving lanes for Sumang, but it also allows him to play off-the-ball.  Sumang is a capable shooter, but he’s only shot 2/7 in catch and shoot situations in five games, which means that nobody is creating for him. Having Alberto in the game with him could help ease some of the burden to create.

Sumang PUJ



Third – and this one mostly falls on Roi – he has to get more reps. He’s currently 3/15 on off-the-dribble pull-up jumpers, a dismal 20%. Yes, Sumang is a penetrator at heart, but he’s gotta keep defenses honest. Moreover, he’s only 1/7 on pick & roll plays where he takes a jumper. If he keeps settling for those types of shots and doesn’t make them, the defense will simply sag on him, making it nearly impossible for him to get to the lane.

Sumang has a tough task ahead of him, as chances are he’ll be guarded by the likes of Nico Elorde and Kiefer Ravena on Sunday and Louis Vigil and Sheik Sheriff on August 13. If he explodes and drops over 20 points – which he has failed to do so far this season – we may see UE pull-off an upset and right the ship. However, if the Eagles and the Tigers shackle UE’s main gun, this could signal the beginning of another disappointing season for the Red Warriors.


*Per 30 minutes numbers taken from

  • andy

    Correlation does not imply causation. there are a lot of errors with your methodology in using stats to analyze Sumang

    • Jr Reyes

      its not a scientific journal for crying out loud…

Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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Glenn Khobuntin repays Ricky Dandan’s trust with end-game heroics



FILE Photo from PBA Images

Glenn Khobuntin can finally say that he had himself a moment in the pro ranks

The National University alumnus proved his worth for the Kia Picanto, scoring his team’s final six points to steer the often-ridiculed club to their first win after a historic 16-game skid, at the expense of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 98-94.

“I knew he would. I knew he would,” lauded Kia head coach Ricky Dandan of the takeover by the six-foot-four forward.

“It was a blessing he didn’t play for the first two quarters because he [came in] fresh at gigil na gigil.”

Khobuntin finished with 11 markers on 5-of-7 shooting — the best game he’s had so far, not because of the numbers he posted but with the way he made them. But the three-year pro does not want to take the spotlight all onto himself.

“Hindi lang din naman ako e, kami ding lahat e,” the 26-year-old shared. “Siguro kumbaga nagka-opportunity lang, napunta sa akin yung bola kasi yun yung nasa scheme ng play so ayun.

“Thankful lang ako na-hit ko yung mga na-design na plays.”

However, the third-year pro admitted that he had been frightened during the game’s final stretch, as Rain or Shine managed to impose a serious threat by coming back from a seven-point deficit, 94-96, with just less than 22 ticks left to play.

“Kinakabahan ako kasi two minutes pa rin yun e tapos Rain or Shine yung kalaban namin,” the native of Cagayan de Oro said. “Nakita ko nakakabalik sila. Thankful lang naman ako na yung game napunta sa amin, at least natapos yung losing streak namin.”

But more than the end of their months-long slump, what Khobuntin is grateful for is the trust given to him by Dandan, who fielded him as a starter in the second half after sitting out the entirety of the first 24 minutes.

“Nag-decide siya na ako yung i-start niya so thankful ako kasi nagtiwala siya sa akin.”

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Justin Brownlee, Alab lock down Knights for fifth win



Paying a visit to Indonesia for the first time this season, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas needed time to figure the CLS Knights out before stifling the hosts in the final frame to take a 92-87 road win, Saturday evening at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.

This is Alab’s second straight win after losing to the Singapore Slingers last January 10.

With the win, the Philippine-based club team lifts its slate to 5-4 for solo fourth. CLS, on the other hand, dropped to 1-7 — just half a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers.

Justin Brownlee displayed his all-around brilliance in the game, leading Alab with 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

But Alab’s bench could not sustain the effort of the starters, which meant the team was clinging to a two-point lead with 7:06 remaining.

Needing a spark, 40-year-old sniper Dondon Hontiveros provided for Alab, knocking down a triple that proved to be the starting point 14-2 Alab run. A jumper by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. with 2:57 left capped the rally and gave Alab an 87-73 lead.

Hontiveros scored five of the eight Alab bench points. Fortunately for Alab, Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. were on point. The former tallying a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Alab’s skipper had 14 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Coach Jimmy Alapag fielded his bench afterwards, but they let the quintet of Brian Williams, Mario Wuysang, Arif Hidayat, Decorey Jones, and Sandy Kurniawan slice the lead to as low as four points. Then free throws by Oping Sumalinog with eight ticks left put CLS away for good.

Williams paced CLS with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Kurniawan added 19 markers. Indonesian legend Wuysang had 17 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Alab ends its road trip on Sunday, January 28, when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.

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