UE's Roi Sumang (R) drives to the basket against La Salle's Kib Montalbo (L). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – University of the East (UE) guard Roi Sumang has no problems with coming off the bench for the Red Warriors, especially if it means continued success for his team.
Sumang came off the bench for the second straight game on Wednesday when the Red Warriors played La Salle. He played 24 minutes and was on the floor during crunch time.
"Okay naman," Sumang said when asked about his new role as UE's first guard off the bench. "'Yun ang gusto ni coach eh. Siguro 'yun 'yung mas okay para sa amin."
UE head coach Derrick Pumaren confirmed that it will be Dan Alberto, and not Sumang, who will be starting in their crucial game against University of Santo Tomas next Tuesday.
"Roi has embraced the role right now," Pumaren said. "And he's getting his minutes. He's playing well."
With only one game to go in their elimination round schedule, Pumaren hopes Sumang will continue embracing that role.
"We need everybody on board. We need everybody (to be) on the same page," he said. "We cannot have one guy or two guys going the other direction."
"Right now, we're all there, and hopefully we can continue to do that."
Their 68-66 victory against La Salle was Sumang's second game since he was infamously benched by head coach Derrick Pumaren after missing practice.
Asked to explain his side of the story, Sumang said he was simply unable to practice due to a headache.