MANILA, Philippines -- Pido Jarencio hailed the tandem of Robert Bolick and Roi Sumang after the two guards fueled NorthPort to a come-from-behind win against Phoenix Super LPG in their first game of the 2022 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Bolick had 21 points and six assists, while Sumang had 15 points off the bench on top of three dimes in their 92-89 triumph. The Batang Pier erased a 19-point deficit in the game, with Sumang finding Bolick for the go-ahead three-pointer with 14 seconds left to complete their comeback.
"Ganda ng partnership nilang dalawa ni Robert, kasi nag-uusap sila eh," said Jarencio after their hard-earned triumph.
Bolick believes that in Sumang, he has found an ideal backcourt partner who can help NorthPort become a consistent contender.
"Bangko pa lang ako sa La Salle, si Roi sikat na sikat na nung panahon ng UE [University of the East]," said Bolick, who languished with the Green Archers before transferring to San Beda where he became a superstar.
"Nakikita ko na siyang maglaro. Hindi naman ako nagulat kung bakit ganyan siya maglaro," Bolick added. "Kulang lang siya ng exposure. Saktong-sakto, nakuha siya sa amin. Ang ganda ng fit namin."
Against the Fuel Masters, Bolick readily turned over the reins to Sumang down the stretch, admitting that he was feeling some fatigue. Sumang responded in superb fashion, stringing together three outstanding possessions that sealed the win for NorthPort.
He nailed a tough floater to bring the Batang Pier within one, 87-86, with a little over a minute left, then drilled a triple to make it 89-87 for their team with 40 seconds to go. After Tyler Tio tied the game with 30 seconds to go, Sumang found Bolick for the game-winning three-pointer in the next possession for NorthPort.
"Maganda yung ginawa niya -- tatlong possession 'yun, crucial 'yun ha. Isang lay-up, isang three-points, tapos ayun nga, pasa pa niya sa akin," Bolick noted.
"Talagang magaling 'yung bata," Jarencio said of Sumang, pointing out that he went toe-to-toe with Kiefer Ravena during their collegiate days. "Konting playing time, kumpyansa, mabalik niya 'yung laro niya, and then 'yan, nabalik niya 'yung laro niya dito."
Sumang, for his part, was simply grateful to have been given a chance to play in crunch time.
"Sa akin kay Coach Pido talaga kasi grabe yung tiwala niya sa'kin. Buong game, all throughout, medyo nasa gilid na 'ko kasi sobrang dami kong error kanina," he said.
"Tapos ayun nga, nakaupo na 'ko, parang sabi ko alam ko di na talaga ako gagamitin. Pero yun nga, siyempre yung tiwala talaga ni Coach Pido na siguro na-gain ko, naging okay," he added. "Sinusuklian ko lang naman 'yung mga binibigay nila sa akin."
As for being Bolick's partner in the NorthPort backcourt, Sumang is confident that their chemistry will only improve as they get more time together.
"'Yung chemistry talaga namin, naguusap kami sa court na kung sino naman, kung siya naman or ako naman," he said. "Nagiging okay naman yung takbo namin."
PBA Season 47 games can be streamed live and on-demand on iWantTFC with a Premium subscription, available worldwide except PH and US.