'Fearless' rookie Sangalang thriving in big moments | Inquirer Sports

‘Fearless’ rookie Sangalang thriving in big moments

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 03:07 PM March 17, 2014

Mark Caguioa and Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra (dark) vs Rafi Reavis and Ian Sangalang of San Mig (light). PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines — Unfazed in pressure-packed situations, San Mig Coffee rookie Ian Sangalang would make someone think he’s been in the league for a long time.

The agile Sangalang has been playing like a grizzled veteran in just his second conference as a pro — carryover to his solid showing in the Mixers’ Philippine Cup championship run barely three weeks ago.

“Ready lang ako lagi (I’m always ready). Gusto ko pag tinawag ako ni coach Tim (Cone), ready lang ako at focused ako (Every time coach Tim calls my name, I just want to be ready and focused,” said Sangalang.

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“Ian (Sangalang) gave us a huge lift that got us that lead in the fourth quarter,” his head coach Tim Cone told reporters following San Mig Coffee’s 90-80 win over Barangay Ginebra Sunday night.

“I tell you, he just doesn’t blink in the fourth quarter. When the pressure is on, doesn’t matter who’s guarding him whether it’s Japeth (Aguilar) or the import. He just doesn’t back down, he’s not afraid,” Cone added of Sangalang, who earned his first ever Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation.

The six-foot-five beanpole Sangalang didn’t shoot the ball well — missing nine of his 12 attempts from the field — but he made his shots when his team needed it most with eight of his 10 points coming in the fourth quarter alone where the Mixers pulled away from the Kings.

The NCAA Season 88 MVP also had seven rebounds on Sunday night.

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Sangalang’s steady play against Ginebra came just four days after his efficient 16-point outing on seven-of-nine shooting from the field in a 91-75 ripping of Globalport last Wednesday that got San Mig Coffee’s quest for a third straight title going.

In his first two games, Sangalang, also an MVP in the PBA D-League, is averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds per game — numbers rarely seen from a 21-year-old.

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“There’s a reason he’s the consensus no.2 pick in that draft. He was no.2 and nobody else. He’s fearless and he’s effective.”

And perhaps Sangalang is also the reason why San Mig Coffee is off to a 2-0 start.

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TAGS: Basketball, Ian Sangalang, PBA, San Mig Coffee, Sports

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