IAN Sangalang is officially out of the 20-man Team Pilipinas pool for the fifth window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Coach Yeng Guiao bared the development on Friday as the Magnolia forward continued to miss the national team's training sessions for two weeks now.
"I don't think makakahabol pa siya kasi ayun nga, he was battered in the semifinals. Alam namin doon sa series na yun, bugbugan ang labanan nila nila Japeth (Aguilar) and Greg (Slaughter), and I can understand," the mentor said.
Sangalang hasn't showed up since the resumption of training last week, and Magnolia has already reached out to Guiao and Team Pilipinas management saying the 6-7 forward is suffering from lingering pain in his right ankle and knee.
"Yung sa Achilles ko tsaka yung knee, sa may ACL ko, may nananakit. Kasi rin siguro sobrang pagod nung series namin sa semis," Sangalang said as he and the rest of the Hotshots prepare for the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals to start on December 5. "
"Kailangan ko talagang sigurong alagaan yung sarili ko para 100-percent fresh going to the finals."
Guiao perfectly understands Sangalang's decision to opt out for this window.
"Siguro alam din niya na 'yung urgency for his services is not that needed, so maybe he chose to just recover and rest himself. We don't take that against him," said Guiao.
Team Pilipinas is set to parade its tallest squad ever for the November 30 game against Kazakhstan and December 3 versus Iran, both at Mall of Asia, with June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Arwind Santos, Troy Rosario, Beau Belga, JP Erram, Kai Sotto, and Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger, who is considered a naturalized player, all vying for coveted spots.
"For now, I guess mababawasan ng konti yung headache mo dahil hindi mo na siya iniisip. So ngayon, 19 na lang ang pinagpipilian namin," said the fiery bench tactician.