Though at the brink of having their title aspirations end, Ian Sangalang and the Magnolia Hotshots remain defiant.
Wednesday evening, the Hotshots were able to impose their defense on the high-powered San Miguel Beermen. After allowing 102.0 points in the first three games of the series, the Beermen were limited to just 84 points in Game Four
“I think that’s our best game in the series. Tingin ko lang… Yun ang sinasabi ko sa mga players ko yesterday na we need to play our game, which is the defensive game,” shared second-year Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero.
“So ‘yun last three games, even nanalo kami noong Game One, it’s not our game eh.”
Moreover, Sangalang was able to bounce back from his horrendous Game Three outing, finishing with a team-high 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds.
Still, it was not enough to topple San Miguel as Magnolia fell to a 1-3 hole, 80-84.
The fifth-year pro though held his head up high, knowing that they are in a freeroll of a lifetime.
“Siguro yung game na pinakita namin kanina, game namin yun eh. Yun yung game namin. This is the first time na ganun yung depensa namin, na na-limit namin sila,” beamed the 26-year-old big man from Pampanga. “Kasi yung first three games, kahit yung panalo namin, hindi namin game yun eh, kasi umabot pa rin sila ng 100 points. So yun, nakuha namin yung game namin pero talo pa rin kami.
“Pero positive lang kami na next game, ganun pa rin yung gagawin namin.”
Sangalang played with poise all throughout the contest, staying patient on the block. But facing elimination on Friday, Sangalang knows that he has to play with more energy especially on the defensive end.
“Mahirap sabihin eh. Kasi unang-una, sa depensa kay June Mar [Fajardo], hindi ka pwede mag-relax,” added Sangalang, as he was assessed with four fouls in the contest. “Talagang pag kinuha mo siya, dapat ready ka, kung hindi, foul ka. So ayun. Siguro sa depensa, konting diin para may energy pa rin — di naman din pwedeng ibigay lahat sa depensa, para sa may energy pa rin sa opensa.
“Next game siguro tantsa-tantsa lang kung anong pwedeng gawin.”
Besides this, Sangalang, who is averaging 17.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the series, shared that they won’t go down without a fight.
“Di namin dapat ibigay ‘to ng ganun ka-easy lang.
“Basta bibigay pa rin namin best namin. One game at a time. ‘Pag manalo kami, ‘di… Ang gusto lang namin dito, ma-extend namin yung series para may chance pa kami. Basta next game nandiyan pa rin kami. Bibigay pa rin namin best namin,” he closed.
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