San Mig Coffee's Ian Sangalang makes his move to the basket. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Super Coffee rookie Ian Sangalang is not playing like a neophyte in the Mixers' best-of-five PBA Governors Cup finals series against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Instead, he is elevating his game the way a veteran would.
In the crucial Game 3 of the series, Sangalang stepped up in crunch time by scoring eight of his 13 points in the period – six of them coming in a 12-2 run that allowed the Mixers to seize control of the ball game and eventually take a 78-69 win.
"Sanay na akong naglalaro sa Finals eh," Sangalang told PBA.ph after the game, which saw San Mig Coffee take a 2-1 series lead and come within a game of their coveted Grand Slam.
"Nasa isip ko na every time na maglalaro ako, ibibigay ko lang 'yung best ko para sa team at para sa mga sumusuporta sa amin," he added.
Sangalang gave the credit to his veteran teammates, whom he said have supported him and pushed him to become better.
"Ako, nabubuhayan ako sa kanila kasi grabe sila sumuporta talaga," said Sanganlang. "Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila."
Sangalang, the second pick in the 2013 PBA Rookie Draft, missed out on the PBA Rookie of the Year award but can gain an even greater honor if he helps the Mixers clinch the Governors Cup crown on Monday.
"Kailangan naming mag-focus sa Game 4," the former San Sebastian Stag stressed. "Dapat focus kami doon sa game, mentally and physically. Gawin na namin lahat para sa Game 4."