Ian Sangalang showed nerves of steel down the stretch as the Magnolia Hotshots survived the San Miguel Beermen, 99-94, to take Game One of their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Wednesday night at SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Sangalang coolly sank an elbow jumper with 1:16 left to play to stop SMB, who knocked to within just one after going down by nine with 6:16 in the fourth. Paul Lee then made his freebies with 17 ticks left to settle the final count.
The 6-foot-7 Sangalang finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“Ian has been very consistent. Since last conference pa. So I’m expecting him na talagang big help for us,” said head coach Chito Victolero. “With his outside shot and his poste and his rebounds… Malaking tulong sa’min yon.”
Equally as impressive as Sangalang in the win were their guards, with Paul Lee top-billing with 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Mark Barroca had 17 points, while Jio Jalalon made 16. Justin Melton chimed in 11 markers.
Rafi Reavis continued his steady play with 12 points and nine rebounds.
“Two days rest were enough para sa players ko. We gave our best effort, we tried to play our strengths which is our defense and our chemistry,” Victolero said. “Ang maganda lang is talagang china-challenge namin.”
It was still the Hotshots’ defense, though, that made the victory possible. The Beermen’s fiery triumvirate of Chris Ross, Terrence Romeo, and Marcio Lassiter were silenced, as they only shot a horrid 4-of-29 from the field.
“Hindi kami pwedeng makipag-sabayan sa kanila sa opensa because it’s a battle of their offense and our defense,” said Victolero. “So I’m very happy. And we limited them to under a hundred points – and that’s the key.”
June Mar Fajardo led the Beermen with 35 points – including his team’s last 15 markers – alongside 21 rebounds.
Alex Cabagnot supplied 18 points, while Arwind Santos had a double-double as well with 13 points and 15 rebounds with five assists and two blocks. Von Pessumal chipped in 11 markers on perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the floor.
Game Two is on Friday, May 3, still at the Big Dome.
Magnolia 99 – Lee 18, Sangalang 17, Barroca 17, Jalalon 16, Reavis 12, Melton 11, Ramos 4, Dela Rosa 4, Pascual 0, Brondial 0, Simon 0.
San Miguel 94 – Fajardo 35, Cabagnot 18, Santos 13, Pessumal 11, Romeo 8, Ross 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Standhardinger 2, Nabong 0, Lassiter 0.
Quarterscores: 34-30, 52-55, 80-73, 99-94.
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