MANILA, Philippines – As talks to bring Ian Sangalang back to San Sebastian broke down, Stags head coach Topex Robinson knew it won’t be the last time he and his former player will share the basketball court.
“I guaranteed him that I’ll see him in the PBA,” said Robinson, who also serves as an assistant coach with the newly minted PBA champions Alaska Aces.
The six-foot-six Sangalang was a force in the NCAA. He was part of the team’s “Big Three” along with Calvin Abueva and Ronald Pascual that led the Stags to a championship in three Finals’ appearances.
Sangalang, 22, also imposed his will against stronger competition in the PBA D-League that also earned him an MVP. And Robinson has no doubt that Sangalang, a dependable low-post scorer with an improving mid-range game, will be a hot commodity in the big league.
“Of course [he will be a high pick in the draft]. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands in the top five in the PBA Draft. He’s an MVP. He’s a proven fighter. Even in the D-League he posted impressive numbers.”