Ian Sangalang returns to Magnolia early in order to reclaim his best shape

Jun 13, 2023

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Ian Sangalang decided to return to the playing field by himself.

The seasoned big man from Magnolia admitted going directly to coach Chito Victolero and informing him of his intention to play for the Hotshots in their PBA On Tour matchup against Barangay Ginebra.

Sangalang requested permission from his coach to play on Sunday at the Ynares Arena in Antipolo due to a combination of boredom and a desire to see the basketball floor once more.

The former NCAA MVP of San Sebastian claimed that it was his choice to play since he gets bored.

Victolero gave in after hearing from Sangalang, who is returning from a protracted absence after experiencing thyroid problems, that he is prepared to play after working out independently and joining the Hotshots in their routine practice.

The Hotshots defeated the Kings 91-80 to improve to 4-0 in the preseason. Sangalang, who is beginning to regain some weight, played 16 minutes and contributed four points and four rebounds.

He estimates that he is still a long way from being the player he once was, a player who was an All-Star, a two-time second Mythical Team member, and a player who won four titles with the Purefoods franchise, including a grand slam in 2014.

Sangalang participated in the Governor’s Cup for Season 47 before the team chose to bench him for the remainder of the campaign after learning that he had thyroid disease.

He might be able to regain his old timing and rhythm after four more games.

Mark Barroca also made sure not to ruin Sangalang’s comeback game by contributing nine points in the fourth quarter to aid the Hotshots in stopping a valiant Ginebra comeback by scoring nine points.

It was Magnolia’s fourth straight victory, keeping its perfect preseason record.

Jerrick Ahanmisi contributed 17 points, and Barroca finished with 20 points and five assists. The two combined for an 8-2 run that gave the Hotshots an 82-76 advantage.

Following a thyroid condition, Sangalang played for the first time since the Governors Cup. He played for 16 minutes, scoring 4 points and pulling down 4 rebounds.

Despite losing for the second straight game, Barangay Ginebra kept things interesting thanks to a huge fourth-quarter comeback.

When the Kings were down by 12, they scored 12 straight points, including a three-pointer by Kim Aurin, to tie the score at 70.

When Barroca made the decision to assume control and bring the Hotshots back to order, the score was still tied at 74.

Ginebra’s center Raymond Aguilar led the team with 22 points.

Friday’s match between Magnolia and TNT will take place at the Pasig-based Ynares Sports Center.

The Scores

Magnolia 91 – Barroca 20, Ahanmisi 17, Jalalon 12, Corpuz 11, Mendoza 8, Laput 8, Sangalang 4, Lee 7, Dela Rosa 4, Murell 0.

Ginebra 80 – Aguilar 22, Aurin 12, Pinto 11, Pessumal 11, Gray 8, David 6, Dillinger 3, Gumaru 2, Mariano 5, Onwubere 0, Salcedo 0, Cu 0.

Quarter scores: 25-23, 44-38, 67-58, 91-80.

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