Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang shrugged off a back injury to lift the team over the already-eliminated NorthPort, 83-76, and stretch their winning streak to five in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at the AUF Gym in Clark, Pampanga.
The 28-year-old bruiser flirted with a double-double output as he carved out 23 points and nine rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the field as Hotshots boosted their playoff contention at 6-4.
Paul Lee, who has been hot in their last three games, also made his presence felt with 14 markers and eight assists while Jackson Corpuz finished with 10 points and six boards.
“I did not think of the back pain that I was feeling because I really wanted to help the team and that’s what’s important,” said Sangalang.
“And I also have to give credit to our PTs (Physical Therapists) here.”
Magnolia led almost the entire ballgame until NorthPort, which had been eliminated owing to a Rain or Shine win earlier today, waged a fourth-quarter surge to cut the deficit to four, 80-76.
But Sangalang came through and notched a crucial basket at the 2:07 mark of the game which was then followed by his split free throw en route to their 83-76 victory.
Head coach Chito Victolero, meanwhile, credited Sangalang for playing through the pain in a must-win game for the Hotshots.
“We should have let him rest to have his back injury treated but he insisted on playing today,” said Victolero.
The Batang Pier, meanwhile, got another stellar showing from big man Christian Standhardinger who registered 18 points to go with 17 rebounds and four steals as they dropped to 1-8.