IAN Sangalang is in line for a second consecutive individual accolade in just months as the NLEX slotman looms as a strong candidate for the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Best Player of the Conference plum.
The reigning NCAA MVP and former San Sebastian Stag is one of the contenders for the D-League’s top individual honor, to be awarded on Tuesday before Game Two at the San Juan Arena, due to his stellar play for the Road Warriors in their run to a fourth straight Finals appearance.
Aside from Sangalang, who averaged 13.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and a block per game this conference, also in the running for the award are Kevin Ferrer of Blackwater Sports, and Cagayan Valley's Ping Exciminiano and Eliud Poligrates.
Following his finals stint with University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP, Ferrer flourished under the mentorship of Leo Isaac at Blackwater Sports, averaging 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and a steal per game in leading the Elite to a semifinal appearance.
After lackluster stints with other teams in the league, Exciminiano starred with the Rising Suns as their leading scorer with 16 points per game along with averages of 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 steals.
Poligrates is also a candidate for the award after averaging 12.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and two blocks per outing for the Rising Suns under Alvin Pua.
Allein Maliksi, now with Barako Bull in the PBA, was named the first-ever PBA D-League Best Player of the Conference while playing for Cebuana Lhuillier in the 2011 Foundation Cup. Vic Manuel, another Gems standout now playing for Meralco in the PBA, took the award in the 2012 Aspirants Cup.