Roi Sumang set for MPBL return after two seasons

Roi Sumang won’t continue in the PBA and will play for Nueva Ecija in the MPBL (PBA photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Veteran point guard Roi Sumang will be back in familiar territory after rejoining the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s (MPBL) ongoing season.

The MPBL hoops scene was stunned once again after the Rice Vanguards welcomed back Sumang via a lengthy Facebook greeting posted last June 7, 2023.

Sumang will be reuniting with his former team after Nueva Ecija decided to sign him during the 2021 season and immediately made an impact after leading the squad to a grand final appearance.

However, Sumang’s stint with the Rice Vanguards got short-lived after the NorthPort Batang Pier offered him a playing contract following his stellar campaign in the MPBL.

Sumang didn’t need too much time adjusting to the PBA level once he arrived at NorthPort and became one of their most reliable scorers during the past two conferences.

The former University of the East superstar also filled in a perfect role as Robert Bolick’s backup point guard and averaged 8.78 points, 3.41 rebounds, and 4.38 assists every game.

When Bolick got into a contract dispute with the Batang Pier, it was Sumang who delivered hugely for the team and was also their top-scorer in several wins.

Now back with Nueva Ecija, the Rice Vanguards just got a huge boost and increased their championship title defense bid.

Aside from Sumang, Kemark Cariño, a former Gilas Pilipinas big man and Japan B. League import, will also be reinforcing the team.

Other recruits who will complete the Nueva Ecija roster are former UST standout Sherwin Concepcion and former UE member Orin Catacutan.