MAGNOLIA big man Ian Sangalang is bracing for a more physical Game Two after his altercation with Rain or Shine bruiser Beau Belga in the opener of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Friday night.
The normally calm Sangalang figured in a heated exchange with Belga after the two got entangled in a physical battle for the rebound late in Rain or Shine's 84-77 win over Magnolia at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Both players were slapped with technical fouls for using profane language.
Sangalang said he simply got fed after finding himself on the receiving end of hits from Belga the entire match.
“Kasi ilang beses niya ako tinamaan. Hindi ko alam kung sinasadya niya o ano," said the former NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian. But he was quick to add, "Tapos na ‘yun. May Game Two pa naman."
Belga said he had no intention of hurting Sangalang during that battle for the rebound that led to the altercation.
“It’s part of the game,” Belga said. “Hindi mo sinasadya tinamaan siya. Siyempre magre-react siya. I was telling him, hindi ko in-attempt na tumama. Tinamaan din ako ni Paul [Lee] pero play on. Kapag tinamaan ka, you have the tendency to give back.
“Not intentional to hit Ian. I hope wala sa kanya ‘yun. Sa akin, okay lang,” Belga added.
Sangalang said he doesn't expect the physicality to ease up for the rest of the best-of-seven series, but insisted he won't try to retaliate.
“Okay lang ako. Nagka-black eye nga ako, okay lang eh. ‘Yun pa kayang ganun. Basta ako, laro lang ako. Tingnan natin sa Game Two kung ano pang puwede niyang ibigay. Okay lang, tatangapin ko,” Sangalang, who had 13 points and five rebounds in the loss.
“Hindi ko sinasabi na babawi ko pero tingnan na lang natin sa Game Two kung gaano ka-pisikal ‘yung Game Two,” he added.