QUIET for most of the game, Ian Sangalang came up with the plays which mattered down the stretch.
Averaging 15 points and eight rebounds heading into this game, Sangalang finished with just eight points and four boards but was the steadying force Magnolia needed in the clutch to hold off Blackwater, 78-72, on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After a furious rally from the Elite erased the Hotshots 18-point lead, Sangalang broke the deadlock with 56 seconds left before making the biggest defensive play of the game when he forced Mac Belo to a backcourt violation 15 seconds later.
With Belo scoring 14 points in the payoff period, Sangalang took it upon himself to prevent the former FEU standout in stealing the win from the Hotshots.
"Yung game plan namin is to switch. Nung unang switch namin naka-shoot siya, so sabi ko, pag nagswitch kami ready na ako kahit anong mangyari. Di ko paiiscorin to. Kung dadrive man siya, bibigyan ko siya ng hard foul basta hindi ko siya paiiscorin," said Sangalang.
"Nag-gamble na talaga ako, pag nadrive-an ako, hahabol ako tapos fa-foul ako so yun, ang ginawa ko talaga, sumugal na ako na ganun yung gawin ko. Pag umatras ako, lagi akong nadadrive-an kaya ganun ang ginawa ko," he added.
The former NCAA MVP also played down his game winner, saying that he was just prepared to take the shot when his number is called upon.
"Kumpyansa lang at tiwala sa sarili. Yung positive mindset na kaya ko pag binunot ako ready ako," he continued.
"Kailangan talaga namin yung game na to e. Di kami pwede matalo dito kaya nung huli medyo napressure kami nung dumikit pero ako positive lang ako. Pag pinasok ako ready lang ako."