Sangalang proves readiness with career-high scoring in Terrafirma win vs NorthPort

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Sangalang proves readiness with career-high scoring in Terrafirma win vs NorthPort
Louie Sangalang of Terrafirma
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- In a must-win game, rookie Louie Sangalang scattered a career-high against the NorthPort Batang Pier to lead the Terrafirma Dyip to a crucial PBA Philippine Cup win Wednesday.

Sangalang had 19 points, five rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes of play.

This was enough for the Dyip to escape with a 110-108 win and send NorthPort to its fifth straight loss, while giving Terrafirma a 5-5 win-loss record with one game remaining in the eliminations.

Sangalang said after the game that he just did his job and stayed ready as they aimed to make the quarterfinals.

"This [win] is a really big help for us, so we can have a chance to make the playoffs," he told reporters in Filipino.

"The coaches told me to just be ready, that I will start against NorthPort because their bigs are agile and quick," he added.

"So, I was asked to be ready by coach even back in practice."

Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel lauded Sangalang, saying he knows what the big man is capable of even back in college.

"When he got to us, I said he's a big help for us because we have a 'small' big man, and even though he is just this tall, he is really brave and plays with all his heart," Cardel said of the 6-foot-4 banger.

"Playing in the PBA, you really have to play with a big heart. If you are playing soft, you will not have a long career here. You have to be tough and have your own practice aside from our practice. So, it takes effort," he added.

The coach, meanwhile, voiced hope that the crucial win would give them a much-awaited spot in the quarterfinals, which they last reached back in 2016.

"Maybe this win is gonna give us [a boost] to get into the quarterfinals. Other teams are winning, and we might have a tie... but hopefully, we do not need a knockout. We just qualify outright."

The Dyip are currently seventh in standings. Only the top eight teams will qualify for the quarterfinals.

The team is currently tied with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters with a 5-5 win-loss record. They are ahead of the 4-6 NorthPort, as well as the 3-5 Blackwater Elite and Meralco Bolts, both of whom are set to play three more games in the eliminations.

Terrafirma's last game of the eliminations will be against the Magnolia Hotshots next Friday.

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