IN a highly-emotional game, Ian Sangalang kept his cool and helped Magnolia draw first blood in its PBA Philippine Cup semifinal against Meralco.
The Hotshots big man came through with 18 points and eight rebounds in an 88-79 win over the Bolts as he didn’t let himself get affected by the physical nature of Game One on Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.
Sangalang said it’s understandable that emotions were high in the playoffs and with the race to the championship now down to a four-team battle.
But that didn’t keep him from being distracted and doing his job.
“Sabi nga ni coach Chito (Victolero) semis na ito, kaya mataas talaga ang emotion,” said Sangalang. “Doon ako natsa-challenge sa mga nangyayari na ganun. So once nangyari yun, ginaganahan ako, kailangan mag-step up ako.”
Verbal spats mar game
The game was marred by several altercations, beginning with physical plays underneath between Cliff Hodge and Jackson Corpuz late in the first quarter that saw both benches whistled for technical fouls.
Victolero himself got involved in a verbal confrontation with Meralco slotman Raymond Almazan, while Bolts guard Allein Maliksi had a heated exchange of words with the Magnolia bench in the endgame.
Sangalang said he was hardly affected by the on-court distractions and just let his game do the talking.
“Na-handle namin yung emotion na yun. Once na-handle namin, wala kamign iniisip, laro lang kami, sila coach na lang ang bahala sa sidelines, mananalo kami,” he said.
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