NCAA: Louie Sangalang steps on defense for Letran, earns coach’s praise
MANILA, Philippines—Letran head coach Bonnie Tan lauded one of the team’s top veterans after its bounce-back win against top-seeded Benilde on Friday.
Louie Sangalang made two crucial plays on defense to break Benilde’s winning streak at three, earning the praise of the Knights’ head tactician.
“I’m really proud of Louie. The kid is a fighter. Even in practice, after our runs, you can see he wants to bounce back right away,” Tan said after the 81-75 win.
“I can see that going to this game, he and the veterans were more determined to close the game with a win,” he added.
The Knights led by four, 79-75, with under a minute left in the game, when Sangalang denied any hopes of a Blazers’ comeback win with two defensive stops.
The defensive anchor swatted a Will Gozum floater with 26.7 seconds left in the game, quickly following up with a steal off Migs Corteza to hand Benilde a 3-1 win-loss record.
“I’m more focused on defense. It can be seen that on offense, I was struggling because they scouted me well. In my mind, I will just bounce back on defense,” Sangalang said after fueling the Knights to a 2-2 card in the young season.
The 6-foot-4 bruiser only scored four points but snagged 10 rebounds, three assists and just two fouls.
“All we practiced in our game plan showed up, especially on defense because that’s where we adjusted a lot, so we’re happy,” Sangalang added.
Tan, however, admitted he has yet to find the perfect rotation with just three games under their belt.
“Our rotations lately are still short so I’m still hoping we improve every game so we can properly move forward,” he stated.
The defending champions will face off against their NCAA Season 97 Finals rivals, Mapua, on Tuesday. The Cardinals currently hold a 1-2 season record.
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