Feb 11, 2024

Finals stint helps Sangalang regain his confidence

MAGNOLIA's Ian Sangalang is back to his double-digit scoring self, rediscovering his groove just as the Hotshots have leveled their best-of-seven Commissioner's Cup title series with San Miguel at two games apiece.

"During the eliminations, it seems like my play was on and off," Sangalang told reporters. "In this Finals, I've got momentum. I got my confidence back."

"With the help of my coaches and my teammates, I was able to lift myself back up. I'm back to doing my job," he added.

It was not too long ago when Sangalang was shut down by the Magnolia brain trust to allow him to cope with his thyroid problem. That caused him to miss a big chunk of the last Governors' Cup.

He returned this Commissioner's Cup, but his numbers had rather been inconsistent, his finest outing was in a blowout of Terrafirma, where he finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.

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In the opening games of the final? with San Miguel, Sangalang has been silent. He was back to making an impact in the next two meetings, averaging 12 points to help Magnolia turn the series into a race-to-two showdown.

Sangalang said that a tweak in his outlook made such a resurgence possible.

"I'm treating it as positive pressure," he said. "I'm just enjoying it all now. Game 1 and Game 2 were full of pressure and we were all too eager. We wanted to win so badly and then we realized that too much is bad. Now we've settled down.

"We'll try to do the same again next game," he added. (DD)