OBL 2019 Featured Team: Sumitomo Ready to Reach New Heights


By Kings of the Court|STR8 - Published April 1, 2019

It has been 13 years since Team Sumitomo joined the Ortigas Basketball League, but not one of those have translated to a top place finish as they are still in search of the elusive championship. But with a roster described as "younger" and has a penchant for the "run and gun" system, the squad representing SHI Designing and Manufacturing, Inc. hopes to finally take their game to the next level.

This year's hosts, Sumitomo, in a huddle before their opening game against IHI Philippines last March 6, 2019 (Wednesday) at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center.

"I think the most important part of this journey is to reach the ultimate goal of winning a championship," said Sumitomo’s team representative, Mr. Mario Carangan. "All teams are highly competitive. The competition level is getting higher, with the addition of promising new talent and recruiting. One of the huge changes for me is the allowing of acquisition of freelance coaches outside of the company."

Mr. Mario Carangan - Sumitomo's Team Representaive

It surely is a daunting task to bring home the top prize for Sumitomo as the troops' core is composed mainly of engineers, programmers, and CAD operators juggling precious time between their day job and the OBL. But inspiring them to go all out is the company's own principles. Since nothing is expected from SHI Designing and Manufacturing, Inc. but top-notch and quality service to their customers, Carangan hopes the team translate those values on the hardwood.
SMDI President Mr. Toshihiro Yamaoka with OBL 2019 Three-point shootout champion, Jomari Talavera. 

"I think nothing but win and win (games) is our main objective," he said. "(Our company) efficiently provides each customer with products and services that meet their needs and requirements for quality and value." "Players are committed and see to it that they have spare time for practices (and the team)," he added. And even if Sumitomo falls short again, what's important for Carangan is for them to deliver better results moving forward as they have higher goals in mind.

Sumitomo's team photo during the parade of teams - OBL 2019 opening night.


Jomari Talaver led Sumitomo in their opening night victory against IHI Philippines. This, perhaps is the best way to start a season as they embark on a new journey, with the goal to win it all.

"Since joining this league, we have not won a single championship. Hopefully, by next five years we will be able to obtain (at least one)," he shared. "Working together for a common goal is essential to corporate success for better output and a better bonding among employees. It helps them develop camaraderie and team work."

This season will feature seven participating teams in a classic single-round format for the elimination round, a do-or-die quarterfinals, and what promises to be a very competitive grind out semifinals for this year's tournament, as all teams beefed up their lineups. Sumitomo will be one of the six teams who will be fueled with the mission to challenge the defending champions, MHPS-TS' back-to-back title bid.