Ian Sangalang scored off a feed by Paul Lee just before the buzzer sounded to give Magnolia an 84-82 victory over Alaska, Wednesday in the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The 29-year old Sangalang’s clutch shot came after the Hotshots forced a turnover courtesy of Ravi Reavis who tapped the ball off Alaska big man Yousef Taha and into the waiting arms of Rome dela Rosa. He finished with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field to go along with 5 boards, a steal and 2 blocks in 27 minutes of action.
“Grabe kasi ang trinabaho namin before the start of the conference, biyahe to Batangas para magpractice,” said Sangalang during the post-game presser.
“Yung mindset namin manalo hindi mawala yung pinaghirapan namin. Thankful kami na nanalo,” added the 2nd overall pick of the 2013 draft.
The Hotshots were supposed to take on TNT that night but the game was postponed after four TNT players turned up positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, July 20.
“Sa start pa lang, sinabi ko na this is not an easy game. We have to be committed on this game because it’s hard. We only had one-week preparation. We need to adjust right away. But no excuses na nagpalit ang kalaban,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
Sangalang’s heroics after the Hotshots appeared headed for another collapse. A Robbie Herndon triple capped a dizzying 10-0 Alaska run which gave the Aces a 2-point edge, 82-80, after trailing by 8 with a little over four minutes left on the game clock. The 2014 PBA Grand Slam champions, however, were not to be denied.
Lee bucked off a slow start and added 16 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting from the stripe while Rome dela Rosa and Mark Barroca chipped in 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
New recruit Calvin Abueva, who fouled out early in the 4th period, managed to contribute 9 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocks in 32 minutes of action