ALLAN Mangahas showed on Thursday he’s ripe enough to be in the PBA.
The journeyman playmaker showed why he deserves a second chance in the pro league after lifting Cebuana Lhuillier to a 76-73 win over Hapee that sent their D-League Foundation Cup semifinal series to a deciding game.
Mangahas exploded for 40 points on a 17-of-25 clip from the field, including five three-point conversions, on top of eight boards, four assists, and two steals in an efficient 36 minutes.
That scoring barrage tied the all-time D-League scoring record set by Jeramy King of AMA earlier this conference.
“Sana mapansin (ng scouts) kasi dream ko rin talaga makabalik ng PBA,” said the 27-year-old Mangahas, who went underafted in the 2012 PBA rookie draft before gaining an opportunity to play in the pros the following year when the Mapua product signed a one-conference deal with Meralco.
Mangahas seized the opportunity to shine in the absence of Gilas cadet guard Almond Vosotros and Norbert Torres, both of whom are in Singapore for the Southeast Asian Games, and with big man Moala Tautuaa nursing a sprained ankle.
“Chinallenge siya ng mga coaches,” Gems coach Boycie Zamar said. “Somebody has to step up and he filled the shoes.”
“No tomorrow sa amin eh, so tira lang ng tira at ayun, thank God pumapasok naman,” Mangahas said. “Kasi injured si Mo (Tautuaa), so walang magta-take over. Tinry ko lang at maganda yung outcome.”
“At ayaw ko pa mag-bakasyon.”
Fresh Fighters coach Ronnie Magsanoc attested to Mangahas’ pro-worthy showing.
“That was an outstanding effort from Allan,” the concurrent Meralco deputy mentor said. “I’ve always believed that he deserves to be in the PBA and probably this will be his second shot to make it to the big league.”
“But right now, he is our opponent and we have to find ways to defend him.”