IAN Sangalang stepped up in Calvin Abueva’s absence and Ronald Pascual’s poor performance as San Sebastian downed Lyceum, 83-75, on Thursday night in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
With Abueva getting ejected in the third and Pascual turning in another head-shaking showing, Sangalang, the least-mentioned member of the San Sebastian’s dreaded “Big Three,” took center stage as the Stags bounced back from an upset loss to lowly Emilio Aguinaldo College the last time out.
The 6-foot-6 Sangalang registered 20 points, 17 rebounds, and two blocks as the Stags moved to solo second place with an 8-3 win-loss record.
Abueva still finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards, on top of four assists and two blocks.
Pascual, however, continued his dry spell, missing all of his 12 attempts and scoring just two points in 32 minutes. He did have nine rebounds and six assists.
Up by a 48-33 margin at halftime, the Stags saw the Pirates suddenly mount a comeback and cut the lead to just 47-51 with six minutes and eight seconds in the third.
The Stags’ woes were compounded when Abueva was thrown out for hitting Lyceum’s Vence Laude in the head with a closed fist after a loose ball scramble.
Instead of being disheartened, the incident turned out to be a rallying point for the Stags as they went on a 21-6 run to push the cushion back to a more comfortable 72-53 count entering the fourth.
“Wala pa kami. Siguro ilang games pa, makakasanayan na nila at magiging at-home na sila sa pagbagbago sa team,” interim coach Allan Trinidad said.
The Pirates dropped their sixth straight game and ninth overall against two wins to remain at the bottom of the standings.
SSC 83 – Sangalang 20, Abueva 16, Miranda 12, Dela Cruz 9, Antipuesto 8, Rebollos 5, Juico 4, Balucanag 4, Maiquez 3, Pascual 2, Binuya 0, Vitug 0
LYCEUM 75 – Ko 23, Mallari 15, Cayabyab 11, Laude 10, Guevarra 6, Garcia 4, Francisco 4, Alanes 2, Ambohot 0, Azores 0, Mendoza 0, Martinez 0, Edding 0
Quarterscores: 22-13, 48-33, 72-53, 83-75