It was in a chilly November night last year in Antipolo City when a hungry Magnolia Hotshots ousted the Justin Brownlee-reinforced Barangay Ginebra San Miguel from their two-year reign in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Hotshots would then go on to win the 2018 Governors’ Cup crown in six games at the expense of the Alaska Aces, to cop their first title in four years.
It has been months since Magnolia’s triumph, and things have changed. Currently, in the 2019 Philippine Cup, the Hotshots are at 3-4, and are looking to rack up consecutive wins to better their chances for the quarters.
Magnolia took their third win on Wednesday night, dominating the Columbian Dyip, 109-83. They will look for their fourth win on Sunday, but it won’t be a walk in the park, as the Gin Kings are waiting.
And Ian Sangalang is well aware of who will they face.
“Syempre different story na ‘yun, natalo sila. Pero alam namin na Ginebra, tapos another conference – alam namin na babawi sila,” said the 6-foot-7 slotman, who led the Hotshots with 16 points and six rebounds versus the Dyip.
“Siyempre kailangan din naman nila ng panalo. Very crucial din naman para sa kanila ‘yung next game nila.”
But as tough as the match versus the Barangay may seem, Sangalang and the Hotshots are thinking more about themselves, on how will they work harder in order for them to climb up the standings for a better seeding.
“Kailangan namin magtrabaho para makuha namin ‘yung place na gusto namin kasi ‘yung position na gusto namin, nasa kamay pa namin,” said the six-year pro. “‘Di naman nasa kamay pa ng iba na matalo sila o ano.
“Very crucial bawat laban so kailangan lagi kaming focused at saka ‘di kami pwede magkamali sa mga coming games namin.”