Roi Sumang’s career night and Bill Walker’s defense in the end-game did enough for the Blackwater Elite to upset the NLEX Road Warriors, 107-106, in the 2017 PBA Governor’s Cup, Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The win improves Blackwater’s card to 2-3, while NLEX fell to 5-2. Furthermore, the Elite’s victory is now their third straight over the Road Warriors, meaning they have swept their season series.
Sumang had 32 points, with 16 coming from the first quarter alone, going 5-of-10 from outside. He has become the first player drafted in the third round or later to score that much since PJ Simon’s 42 points back in 2010.
“Sumang, when given the opportunity, ever since he’s in high school and in college, he can play,” lauded Elite head coach Leo Isaac of the gunslinging guard. “I’m happy to see him showcase the real talent that he has.”
With the Road Warriors up by a point, 97-96, with less than eight minutes to go in the final frame, Sumang powered the Elite on an 8-0 run ended by his triple from the right wing to put his side up, 104-97, with 4:58 on the clock.
JR Quiñahan’s jumper lifted NLEX closer once more, 104-101, a few possessions later, but Sumang stepped up to the plate again, nailing a pull-up triple from the same spot to widen Blackwater’s lead again, 107-101, with 2:29 to go.
But NLEX kept pestering the Elite, as they scored five straight ended by Aaron Fuller’s lay-up, 107-106. But that proved to be their final surge. Quiñahan tried to make another basket, but his shot was swatted away by Walker.
From there, things worsened for NLEX, allowing Blackwater to breathe a sigh of relief. Kevin Alas’ off-balance shot with 3.4 ticks to go rimmed out, and Larry Fonacier’s catch-and-shoot attempt with just a second to go missed.
“Everything is on the next level. Their attitude, their confidence, the togetherness are all on the next level. We hope we can sustain our mini-run,” added Isaac of the win.
Walker — whom Isaac called an “inspiration” to the Elite — added 29 points 15 rebounds, and six assists. Mike DiGregorio chipped in 18 markers on 4-of-7 triples.
Alas led NLEX with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Fuller and Quiñahan had 13 points apiece, with the former adding 11 rebounds. Juami Tiongson and Rabeh Al-Hussaine had 11 points each.
Blackwater will try sustain their run against the Alaska Aces on August 23, Wednesday, 4:15 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena. NLEX, meanwhile, will aim to get back versus the San Miguel Beermen on August 27, Sunday, 6:45 PM at the Big Dome
Blackwater 107 – Sumang 32, Walker 29, Digregorio 18, Erram 8, Cruz 7, Pinto 7, Gamalinda 4, Sena 2, Miranda 0, Canaleta 0, Pascual 0.
NLEX 106 – Alas 19, Quinahan 13, Fuller 13, Al-Hussaini 11, Tiongson 11, Fonacier 10, Baguio 7, Mallari 6, Soyud 6, Monfort 5, J. Villanueva 5, Lastimosa 0.
Quarterscores: 32-29, 59-56, 84-86, 107-106.