normal_post - Jagna Councilor Candidate's Son Shines; Led Ateneo Blue Eagles to Another Crown - Talk of the Town Author Topic: Jagna Councilor Candidate's Son Shines; Led Ateneo Blue Eagles to Another Crown  (Read 1372 times)


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PHILIPPINE Collegiate Championship League (PCCL) semifinals game savior Christopher "Oping" Sumalinog is proud to have been discovered from the Queen City of the South.

Oping who started shooting hoops at the age of six in Don Bosco Technological School in Labangon, Cebu is now in his third playing year for back-to-back defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (Admu) Blue Eagles.

He led his team in its semifinals win in the PCCL tournament against San Beda College chipping in 14 points and seven rebounds and played a crucial role in Game 3 of the Finals with 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Blue Eagles were crowned the new champions of the PCCL 2009 defeating UAAP rival Far Eastern University, 74-70.

This proud Cebuano shared to Sun.Star that it was his family who influenced his liking for the sport.

Oping's father, Hermes, used to play for the University of the Visayas while his older brothers, Michael Anthony and Hermes Jr., are alumni players of the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers and the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, respectively.

"It was the first sport that was introduced to me by my dad. I eventually learned to love it in the process," said the fourth year AB Interdiscplinary Studies student.

Oping was discovered by the Ateneo team in his third year in high school when he was playing in the Milo Best and Cesafi tournaments.

It was his father who took care of his basketball career and eventually picked Ateneo for his son.

When asked if his dad's decision was fine with him, the Blue Eagle forward quickly said "yes".

"Ateneo does not even exist before in my life... I think of the schools in Manila as if its far away, like its from another planet," said the young Sumalinog.

He felt excited, trying out for the Katipunan-based team, at the same time scared of what is ahead of his collegiate career.

"There's a part of me that's confident at the same time I was also scared because when I got there, it felt like as if I was alone and the opponents are much bigger players."

Like his teammates Nonoy Baclao who came from Bacolod and Emman Monfort from Iloilo, Oping shared that he also felt "culture shocked" because he was not fluent with Tagalog.

But his home taught him to build a strong character - physically and emotionally - and this is what keeps him going.

He said bullies in basketball leagues cannot be avoided but he trusts that he can overcome them.

"Of course if you feel afraid, negative things come to your mind but as time pass by, you get close to your teammates and it (Ateneo) feels like your second home," Oping added.

After playing for Ateneo, Oping wishes to go pro in the Philippine Basketball League and the Philippine Basketball Association.

"(I will continue) while I can still play with my young legs and young body," he said.

He sees his former teammate Chris Tiu as his inspiration because of the former team captain's leadership.

"Nasa kanya na sa lahat eh," said Oping who admires his determination and Tiu's love for the country.

Outside the Blue Eagle squad, JV Casio is his idol. "He's so humble even if he plays really well. Quiet but deadly."

The humble Blue Eagle is armed by faith as he will continue to soar high in the tournaments of his squad.

He will be visiting his hometown this December to celebrate Christmas with his family.

To his fans in Cebu, Oping expressed his gratitude saying: "Ang ako rang masulti lang sa mga taga-Cebu, apilon lang pud nako ang mga taga-Bohol, kai ang akong papa taga Bohol sa mga taga Cebu ug taga Bohol, thank you kayo sa pagsuporta sa mga inyong pag-ampo namo kai nakatabang intawon sa among pag-champion sa kuan (UAAP) back-to-back (To all those in Cebu and Bohol, thank you for all the support and to all the prayers because it helped us in reaching back-to-back UAAP championship)."

This religious Cebuano cager also advised aspiring players from the South to perform well in their field and leave it up to the Lord to do his part.

"It is normal experiencing failure but what is important is to show up, perform well if you have a tryout or if you have a game. The Lord will do His share; just do your part as well."



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Hermes Sumalinog, Sr. ran in 2007 Elections but lost. He making another attempt this 2010 elections and promises to focus on sports and youth development if given the chance to serve his hometown of Jagna, Bohol.


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Nakakita ko sa dula ni Hermes Sumalinog didto sa Cebu adtong mid 70's. Kauban niya sila si Villanueva, Tuadles, Paul Velasco ug Marlowe Jacutin.  Taga UV sila pero nagdula sila sa Commercial League nga kon wala ko masayop Conpinco marketing team.

Maayo si Hermes modula.


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  • avatar_2620 - Jagna Councilor Candidate's Son Shines; Led Ateneo Blue Eagles to Another Crown - Talk of the Town
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anggay ko sa dinulaan aning bataa. naay sya potential. morag salig pod si coach black niya. i hope he'll shine in next years uaap season.


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Yes. Hermes Sumalinog, Sr. of Bgy. Looc, Jagna, Bohol played for UV and commercial teams in the 70's. He dreamt of playing the PBA but was implicated for an alleged game fixing which was never proven. He quit playing basketball, worked in a bank and married a Cebuana.

Hermes Sr. focused into coaching and led UV Green Lancers to a National Collegiate Championship in the early 90's. He then coached Don Bosco High School and led the school to a runner-up finish in the National Inter-Secondary Championships losing closely to the fabled San Beda Red Cubs.

It is a Cinderella Story for this wonderful basketball family. Hermes Sr. just hoped that teaching his three sons basketball early would be their ticket to the PBA, a dream he never achieved as a basketball player.

Michael Sumalinog, the eldest son was one of the top high school players in the late 90's leading Don Bosco Cebu to Adidas Streetball National Championship along with his younger brother Hermes Sumalinog, Jr., Kenneth Robin (who would later play for UP Maroons) and John Montecillo (who played for San Carlos Warriors). Michael Sumalinog was recruited by Manila schools upon graduation and suited for the UST Growling Tigers. What he thought would be a promising college career ended with lack of playing time and could only think that being a "Bisaya" was the reason. Michael just played as reliever to the son of their Head Coach Aric del Rosario. He ended his basketball career playing with Sunkist in the PBL virtually unknown but finished his college studies at the UST.

Hermes Sumalinog, Jr. also played for Don Bosco Growling Tigers in high school along with behemoth Kenneth Robin. The duo led Don Bosco to a runner-up finish to the fabled UV Jr. Green Lancers in CESAFI tournament. Robin and Hermes were suited to be a package duo to try-out in Manila schools but the former discreetly negotiated and signed up for the UP Maroons leaving Hermes alone to try his luck in Manila. He ended up with the Mapua Cardinals and ended his career also virtually unknown despite gutsy and aggressive performance in NCAA games.

Oping Sumalinog, like his brothers, played for Don Bosco High School starting early in his freshman year. He did not finish his high school as his father was virtually forced out of the school after their livelihood (canteen) was given to other concessionaires notwithstanding their live contract which was yet to expire in two years. With a heavy heart, Hermes Sr. resigned as Head Coach of Don Bosco, the institution that he and his sons served for the past decade. Hermes Sr. brought Oping to Manila to try-out with the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

It was also a roller coaster ride for Oping Sumalinog in the Katipunan-based team. For the first three years, he sat in the bench most of the time watching his team win or lose. Frequently, he would be played during the dying minutes or in basketball parlance the so-called "garbage game" during his first three seasons. Oping did not entertain thoughts of quitting and the fear that he would suffer the same fate as his father and brothers. He strived hard and showed dedication in team practices. Despite good showing during off-season tournaments, Head Coach Norman Black still would not give him the quality minutes he deserved.

His performance in the Philippine Collegiate Championships showed his dedication to the craft and the perseverance to excel in basketball. Last Sunday, his brothers and this writer could not contain their emotions as Oping finally got quality time to show to the world that a Boholano has the skills and the heart. As this writer told Oping after he was interviewed by the court-side reporter, "God tested your patience. You waited for three years for this moment to come. Today, you just gave Ateneo another basketball crown. It is worth the wait and enjoy the ride."

Indeed, Oping Sumalinog has arrived!

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