Sangalang gives Star lift but admits he’s still adjusting
It’s just a matter of time before Ian Sangalang reminds everyone what he’s capable of.
And on Sunday, the second overall pick in the 2013 PBA Draft, showed what Star fans have been missing as he led the Hotshots to a 88-77 conquest over the TNT KaTropa.
Sangalang finished with a team-best 14 points and six rebounds in the Hotshots’ balanced attack to improve their chances of making it to the quarterfinals.
And for the Kapampangan big man, he has coach Chito Victolero’s system to thank for his resurgence.
“Siguro medyo naga-adjust pa rin ako, pero konti-konti, maa-adapt din namin yung sistema. Ok ako kahit anong mangyari basta nasa game plan,” he said.
(Maybe I’m still adjusting, but slowly, we’ll be able to adapt to the system. I’m ok with whatever happens as long as it’s part of our game plan.)
Reverting back to the defensive-minded approach which made the franchise successful, Sangalang echoed Victolero when he said that Star’s chances largely hinge on their defense.
“Hindi opensa yung magpapanalo sa amin. Kaya kailangan talaga i-maintain namin yung depensa namin. Yung game plan namin, dapat hindi lalagpas ng 90 yung score nila kaya it’s much better na 77 lang yung naging score nila.”
(It’s not our offense that wins us games. We really have to maintain our defense. Our game plan was to limit them below 90 and we did much better in holding them to just 77 points.)
As positive as the results from this TNT game may have been, Sangalang acknowledges that the work is just getting started, and Star still has a lot of things to do if it wants to get back to its old championship contending self.
“Yung consistency namin sa defense, kailangan pa namin i-perfect,” he said. “Hindi namin pwede i-take for granted yung next games namin. Kailangan mag-focus kami kasi hindi namin makukuha easily yung game. Kailangan namin pagtrabahuhan.”
(We still need to perfect our defense. We can’t take our next games for granted. We need to focus on those because we can’t win those games easily. We really have to work hard for it.)
The Hotshots take a momentary breather before facing Blackwater on January 25.