Sangalang reiterates Gilas commitment

(Philstar.com) - December 11, 2015 - 2:32am

MANILA, Philippines – Star Hotshots forward Ian Sangalang reiterated his commitment to be part of Gilas Pilipinas’ national pool despite skipping practice the past two Mondays due to a swollen right knee.

“Lahat naman siguro pangarap na maglaro sa Gilas, pero sa ngayon, alalay lang muna ako sa tuhod ko dahil namamaga kaya pinatingin ko pa kay Doc (Raul) Canlas,” Sangalang confided to Philstar.com shortly after the team’s practice on Friday.

The 6-foot-5 Sangalang played just one game in all of last season after suffering partial tears on his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) in his right knee in the Star’s opening game for the 2015 season.

He spent the next six months recovering and strengthening his knee after undergoing surgery.

Although he is back in harness this season, Sangalang said rookie Star coach Jason Webb had to limit his playing time to ensure he recovers well from his knee injury.

“Sino ba naman ang ayaw maglaro sa Gilas? Eh nalulungkot lang ako at namamaga yung tuhod ko kaya pati nga playng minutes ko limited din ni coach,” he added.

The 24-year-old former San Sebastian big man said he has notified Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas official Butch Antonio and Gilas coach Tab Baldwin about his case.

So far, the left-handed Sangalang is averaging 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 23 minutes of action for the Hotshots.

Still, he is hopeful that Star would be able to take care of business by winning its last two games in the eliminations to get a better position in the playoffs.

Star squeaked past Mahindra, 104-96 on Sunday to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive.

“Ngayon, kailangan lang naming panalunin yung last two games namin para mas maganda ang maging spot namin (going to the playoffs),” he said.

“Saka mahalaga eh magawa namin yung game plan namin saka magtiwala lang kami sa isa’t isa saka sa coaching staff.”

Star returns to action on Sunday when it faces Barako Bull, before closing out its elimination round assignment against Blackwater next Friday.

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