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Sangalang dedicates clutch performance vs NLEX to Pingris

Ian Sangalang proved to be lethal down the stretch in Game 3. Nikki Collantes
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Jio Jalalon's explosion may be the main highlight of Game 3 of the Magnolia-NLEX semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup.

But Jalalon's hot night may have been voided if not for Ian Sangalang's fourth quarter brilliance that helped the Hotshots finally depose the gritty Road Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Sangalang went 5-for-7 from the field in the final frame for 10 of his 24 total points that backstopped Jalalon's 25 even as he helped anchor Magnolia's late defensive stand on NLEX.

"Unang-una, dine-dedicate ko yung game kay Kuya Ping (Marc Pingris) kasi sila lagi yung mga nasa ganoong situations," Sangalang uttered his post-game dedication.

Pingris, who has been a modern-day pillar of the Purefoods franchise, suffered an ACL injury right in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday night, and with the team one solid big man down, Coach Chito Victolero had no choice but to hope for a Sangalang explosion.

"Naaalala ko, pag dikitan yung laban, binibigay niya yung bola kay Kuya Ping. Ngayon, binibigay niya sa akin," Sangalang recalled the Hotshots' clutch tendencies with Pingris around.

Good thing for Sangalang, Pingris taught him his clutch tricks.

"Iniisip ko na lang yung mga tinuro sa akin ni Kuya Ping--na maging positive lang ako. Ayun, binigay ko lang yung best ko every time na gamitin ako. Pinapakita ko na kaya ko," Sangalang continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno