Manila, Philippines – Ian Sangalang couldn’t ask for a better situation after he was chosen as the second overall pick by San Mig Coffee in Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft.
Denied of his dream to be selected by crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra as the No. 1 pick, the former San Sebastian star believes he will benefit a lot from his entry into the Mixers’ roster.
“Masaya ako na kinuha nila ako dahil champion team sila, magagaling ang mga players at coaches kaya alam ko madami akong matututunan,” said Sangalang.
San Mig Coffee is coming off a successful title romp in the PBA Governors’ Cup, he will enter his rookie season under the guidance of not only the well-respected coach Tim Cone but also veteran-laden players like Finals MVP Marc Pingris, James Yap, Mark Barroca and PJ Simon.
At first, Sangalang had an inside track of being named as the No. 1 pick by Ginebra, a development that would have fulfilled his ultimate wish aside from playing in the pro ranks.
Beside Sangalang is considered as the most versatile player than 7-foot Greg Slaughter of Ateneo, owing to his impressive low post skills and quickness rarely seen for a center.
But Ginebra decided to pick Slaughter, believing that the former Smart Gilas Pilipinas mainstay could fill the team’s void at the center position. That forced the Mixers to get the second best player available in Sangalang.
“Ginebra talaga ang wish ko na kumuha sa akin pero wala namang problema sa akin basta kung sinu ang kumuha sa akin eh mahahalin ko ng buong-buo at lalaro ako ng buong puso ko,” he said.
As soon as he signs his three-year deal which will likely be the maximum contract of P180,000, Sangalang wants to take his game to a whole new level now that he will face the PBA’s rugged play. (Jonas Terrado)