RHANZELLE Yong is staying with San Sebastian to play college ball, just like what his uncle and former Stags standout Ian Sangalang had done just a few years ago.
San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson said the 6-2 Yong recently committed to suit up for the Stags in the NCAA after a stellar career with the San Sebastian Staglets in the NCAA juniors division.
The 18-year-old Yong won a place in the Mythical Five in the juniors division last year, joining the likes of now-De La Salle Green Archer Prince Rivero and La Salle Greenhills’ Kobe Paras.
He averaged 14.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and one block per outing in Season 89 for the Staglets, who finished second at the end of the elimination round but lost to La Salle Greenhills in the stepladder playoffs.
San Beda's Red Cubs went on to win the juniors title.
Yong is now following in the footsteps of Sangalang, who won a championship with San Sebastian before being drafted by San Mig Coffee in the 2013 PBA rookie draft.
Robinson said it was Sangalang who advised his nephew to play for the Stags.
“Malaking factor din siyempre ‘yung si Ian kasi sabi niya, sa tingin niya, kung hindi siya nag-stay sa Baste, hindi siya magkakaroon ng exposure,” said Robinson.
Sangalang formed part of San Sebastian’s ‘Pinatubo Trio’ that included fellow Pampanga cagers Calvin Abueva and Ronald Pascual.
After playing for the Stags as well as NLEX in the PBA D-League where he also won a conference MVP award, Sangalang immediately became a key player for the Mixers in their championship run in the Philippine Cup.