Sangalang ‘more motivated’ after heated Game 1 with Meralco

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MANILA, Philippines — Ian Sangalang is one of the league’s most stoic players, but that doesn’t mean he’s insensitive to the things around him.

That was exactly the case in Game 1 of Magnolia’s semifinal series against Meralco in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, where the two teams played a tough match-up on Sunday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

While the usual physical playoff was there throughout the game, things reached the tipping point in the fourth and escalated for the Magnolia bench.

Sangalang said these cases challenged him even more and that dealing with the situation with a clear head was key to Magnolia’s 88-79 win.

“Yes, of course I like it when both teams show their emotions, after all this is the semi-final and emotions will really be a factor and I see that as a challenge more than anything,” Sangalang said in Philippine.

“When things like that happen, I’m even more motivated to play.”

Technical fouls were reported to both teams with 1:48 left in the game when Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero got into a verbal altercation with Meralco center Raymond Almazan.

It didn’t cool off at the end of the game either, because Allein Maliksi had words with the Hotshots bench.

“What we can do is step up and do our job,” said Sangalang, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. “We were able to deal with our emotions and if we can, we can just play at our own pace.”

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