SANCHIR Tungalag, Barangay Ginebra’s Asian import for the PBA Governors Cup, is, indeed, living up to his billing as a deadly threat from the outside.
There’s just a slight hitch, though.
Reports within the Ginebra camp revealed Tungalag is lost in translation with his Filipino teammates as he’s having a hard time communicating with them in English.
A Ginebra source disclosed to Spin.ph that Sanchir had to commission the services of an interpreter from Baguio named Bold to help him communicate efficiently with the Kings players and the coaching staff.
“Ang hirap kausap. Hindi talaga magkaka-intindihan. Senyasan na lang 'pag wala 'yung interpreter,” said the Ginebra insider who refused to be named.
“Minsan nga pag tinawag siya ng driver niya, kasi yung interpreter sa practice na lang, sign language na usapan nila. Kunwari, 8’o clock ang practice, sesenyas ng eight fingers yung driver (to indicate the time),” added the source.
Another source related how coach Frankie Lim would call the attention of the interpreter just to relay Ginebra’s plays and drills to the import from Mongolia.
“Ganun ang nangyayari, tatawagin ni coach Frankie yung interpreter. Saka pa lamang makukuha ni Sanchir yung mensahe,” he said.
The source added he won't be surprised if the interpreter becomes a regular fixture in the Ginebra bench during the season-ending tournament.
“Malamang (laughed),” said the source when asked about such possibility.
A Ginebra player, who also requested anonymity, bared there’s no question Sanchir is well versed in terms of the game, but needs to improve his comprehension on communication matters.
“Yung basketball language, alam niya. Naiintindihan niya gaya ng lay up, shoot ganun. Pero paglabas na ng court, kunwari yung play, medyo hirap na maka-comprehend,” said the player.
Aside from language barrier, another issue for the Mongolian hotshot is the name to be put on his No. 14 jersey.
Under Mongolian tradition, the first name of the person is usually the one displayed at the back of the playing jersey.
Tungalag is Sanchir’s second name.
“Nagpapa-alam pa 'yung management sa PBA kung pwede ba na Sanchir ang ilagay sa jersey niya. Kasi first name niya 'yun eh. Ganun daw kasi sa Mongolia,” said the Ginebra insider.
“Hinihintay pa namin ang sagot ng PBA, pero kami, Sanchir na rin ang tawag namin sa kanya,” he added.
In the several practices he had with the Kings, Sanchir had already shown potential as a deadly outside threat, although there are those who insists the shooting guard from Ulan Bator is still inconsistent with his touch.
“Medyo hindi pa kasing swabe nung highlight video niya. Inconsistent pa ang shooting niya. Pero tignan natin sa actual game, baka dun lumabas ang talas ng shooting,” said the source.
Spin.ph tried to contact coach Lim, but the Ginebra mentor was not answering calls.