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    With 'The Rock' out of the way, Sangalang rolls to first win as a pro

    Dec 1, 2013

    IAN Sanglang’s road to a breakthrough victory in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) became smooth sailing when a major obstacle called `The Rock’ got out of the way.

    The San Mig Super Coffee prized rookie admitted he gained more confidence when Air21 veteran center Asi Taulava fouled out early in the second overtime of the Mixers’ 92-83 win in the PLDT-MyDSL Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

    Sangalang, selected the second overall pick in this year’s draft, played a key role in the Mixers’ breakthrough victory in the season-opening conference, scoring eight of his 14 points in the second overtime period when San Mig pulled away for good.

    And the 6-foot-9 Taulava, the league’s oldest player at 40, fouling out of the game had a lot to do with it.

    “Kahit nung nandun pa si Asi, hindi ko naman inisip na hindi ko kaya. Pero nung nawala siya, medyo nagkaroon ako ng konting kumpiyansa lalo,” said Sangalang, who turns 22 on December 20.

    The late spark provided by the San Sebastian product and former NCAA MVP, who also had six boards, two blocks, and one steal, atoned for a lackluster first half where the Mixers trailed by as many as 14 points.

    “Bumawi lang ako sa mga pagkakamali ko nung first half,” said Sangalang, who played 27 minutes. “Nung pagbalik ko, wala akong pressure at sabi ko babawi ako.”

    Now, he can savor first victory as a pro.

    “Sobrang sarap. Hindi ko ma-explain tapos double overtime pa na magandang laban.”

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