DOCTORS raised fears of a possible ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury for Ian Sangalang after the Purefoods sophomore limped off the team's season debut against Alaska on Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-5 Sangalang, a key figure in Purefoods’ run to a grand slam last season, slumped on the floor holding on to his right knee after landing awkwardly in a rebound battle with Alaska's Sam Eman.
Team physician Raffy Sanchez and physiotherapist Nick Ocampo immediately rushed to his aide and later admitted that signs do not look good for the big man out of San Sebastian.
Sangalang was an All-Rookie team member last season after averaging 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds while playing a major role in the team's championship runs in all three conferences.
Play was halted at the 4:16 mark of the third quarter with Alaska ahead, 56-44. Sangalang attempted two foul shots, missed both, before leaving the game for good.
“Puwedeng ACL (tear) kasi may nag-pop daw. Parang tinaaman siya ni Eman sa pag bagsak niya, so dun napunta sa kanang tuhod yung weight niya,” Sanchez told Spin.ph after examining the left-handed power forward's knee.
The hotshots lost the game, 73-93.
The Hotshots team physician said Sangalang will immediately undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan on Wednesday night at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City, Taguig to assess the injury.
The Hotshots were already without energetic forward Marc Pingris, who remains on leave after spending the offseason playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba World Cup and Asian Games.