Sangalang tops ’em


CONSISTENCY is the name of the game for Ian Sangalang, who has proven his worth time and again as a steady anchor for Magnolia throughout its Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup campaign.

Calm, cool and collected, the 29-year-old Sangalang quietly and effectively played his role in the paint especially in the ongoing semifinals series where the Hotshots are in the cusp of a return trip to the finals with a commanding 3-1 lead over the No. 2 seed Meralco Bolts.

The versatile big man posted a near double-double average of 16.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in three games spanning the period October 4 to 11 to earn the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honor.

The Hotshots went 2-1 last week, with the 6-foot-7 Sangalang tallying 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in their two victories.

It’s the second citation for Sangalang this conference after also anchoring the Hotshots’ unbeaten start last July at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

A lot has changed since then after the league embarked on a month-long hiatus and then transferred playing venue at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, for its restart amid the unwavering challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Sangalang stayed the same, backstopping gunners Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, and Calvin Abueva in the Hotshots’ bid for a third All-Filipino finals appearance in four years.

The former NCAA MVP put up 16 points and 10 rebounds in Magnolia’s 92-78 Game 2 win for a 2-0 lead before registering 15 markers and seven boards in a narrow 91-86 loss in Game 3.

Sangalang was instrumental anew in the Hotshots’ crucial 81-69 Game 4 win for a mammoth 3-1 series lead with 17 points and 11 rebounds, his eighth double-double for a league second-best behind June Mar Fajardo’s 12.

Sangalang beat out teammates Lee and Abueva as well as Terrence Romeo, Mo Tautuaa, and Fajardo of San Miguel in the weekly honor handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat.

Also receiving besides Sangalang were Romeo and Fajardo.

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