Ian Sangalang continues to miss Gilas practice, but Baldwin not giving up on big man
Ian Sangalang (left) has not been attending Gilas practice for months now, but national coach Tab Baldwin the Star big man has a 'place in this program.' Jerome Ascano

THE status of Ian Sangalang with Gilas Pilipinas remains uncertain as the lanky big man continues to skip the national team’s Monday night training for the coming Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.

Coach Tab Baldwin admitted 'issues' concerning the lanky Star big man, especially surrounding his health after coming back from an ACL injury that sidelined him for the entire PBA season last year.

“There’s few issues with Ian right now, and his recovery from being out for a year is the main issue. His confidence is an issue,” stressed the national coach on Monday night after Gilas held its second practice for the year at the Moro Lorenzo gym.

Sangalang was one of the absentee along with Terrence Romeo, who called in sick and asked that he be excused for the training.

“But we know Ian has a part in this program at some point in the future. It may not be yet, but we’re discussing that with him. And we want to do what’s best for him right now. So that’s the nature of the discussion,” stressed the American-New Zealander mentor without elaborating.

[See Fajardo expected to rejoin Gilas training next week]

The former NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian was part of the 17-man pool the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) requested the PBA board to be loaned to the national team in a last-minute bid by the country to make it back to the Olympics after a 44-year absence.

Sangalang did show up for a couple of practices and then totally faded out of the scene.

Baldwin however, said he and the team remained in touch with the 24-year-old pride of Lubao, Pampanga.

“We’ve got an open correspondence with him now. We’re discussing what the future is gonna be there. And all options are on the table,” the Gilas mentor pointed out. “When there’s a resolution to that one way or the other, we’ll let you know.”

“Again I’m not sure which way it will go. We’ll let you know when we know something for sure.”

[See Gilas training up a notch as Baldwin instills sense of urgency. View GALLERY]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos