Sangalang ‘more motivated’ after heated Game 1 with Meralco
MANILA, Philippines—Ian Sangalang is one of the league’s most stoic players but that doesn’t mean he’s impervious to the things surrounding him.
That was just the case in Game 1 of Magnolia’s semifinals series against Meralco in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup where the two teams featured in a testy matchup on Sunday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
While the usual playoff physicality was there throughout the contest, things reached the tipping point in the fourth and escalating in front of the Magnolia bench.
Sangalang said that these instances challenged him even more and that handling the situation with a clear head was the key to Magnolia’s 88-79 win.
“Yes of course I like it when both teams show their emotions, this is the semifinals after all and emotions will really be a factor and I see that as a challenge more than anything else,” said Sangalang in Filipino.
“When things like that happen, I’m even more motivated to play.”
Technical fouls were called on both teams with 1:48 left in the game as Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero got into a verbal altercation with Meralco center Raymond Almazan.
Things didn’t cool down at the end of the game either as Allein Maliksi was seen having words with the Hotshots bench.
“What we can do is step up and do our jobs,” said Sangalang, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. “We were able to handle our emotions and if we can do that then we can just play at our own pace.”