IAN Sangalang is playing through the pain inside the PBA bubble.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero admitted Sangalang continues to be hounded by back problems and willed himself to play in the Hotshots' 102-92 win over rival Barangay Ginebta in the Philippine Cup Sunday.
Despite in pain, the former NCAA MVP from San Sebastian tallied 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 29 minutes of play as he helped Magnolia end a three-game slump to get back on the winning track.
"Actually, si Ian he's not OK, he's not 100 percent. Day-to-day basis talaga si Ian," said Victolero.
The Magnolia coach added Magnolia is just trying to save the 28-year-old Sangalang for the games that his staff allowed him not to join the team practice anymore.
"Nandoon lang siya (sa practice), nanonood and tinitignan yung game plan," said Victolero. "We really try to save Ian for games."
But the consummate pro, the Magnolia big man always go to the game ready like he did in the team's bounce back win over Ginebra that gave it a 2-4 (win-loss) record.
"Ian naman is very committed. Talagang gusto niyang makatulong sa team," said Victolero.
A part of the credit should also go to Magnolia's team of physical therapists, who makes sure to ease some of the pain on Sangalang's back and help him be ready for the game.
"Hirap siya (talaga) kaya thankful kami sa mga PTs namin at nagagawan nila ng praan para makalaro si Ian," said Victolero. (RG)