SAN Sebastian men’s basketball coach Topex Robinson on Monday lamented the unsuccessful negotiations for the return of Ian Sangalang to the Stags’ lineup for the upcoming NCAA campaign.
Robinson had hoped for the return of last season’s MVP, who signified his desire to rejoin the team months after announcing his decision to forego his final playing year, mainly due to the parting of ways between the school and his longtime supporter Dennis Pineda.
“Yes, (I was hoping), of course,” Robinson told Spin.ph. “He also wanted to go back and play his final year.”
The return of the star slotman from Pampanga would have been a big boost to the chances this season of the Stags, who are reeling from the departure of two members of the so-called 'Pinatubo Trio' in former MVP Calvin Abueva and swingman Ronald Pascual.
Sangalang said it was Charlie Chua, lawyer of newly elected Pampanga vice governor Pineda, who negotiated on behalf of the players in Pineda’s stable.
“I’m not sure of the basis, but I have to respect the decision of the school,” the returning San Sebastian coach said, adding he only heard of the school’s decision recently.
SSC athletic director Frank Gusi could not be reached for comment.
The Stags start their Season 89 campaign against last year's losing finalist in Letran on opening day on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.