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PBA: Sangalang faces knee operation

IAN Sangalang

Purefoods Star Hotshots’ sophomore center Ian Sangalang yesterday had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test and the team is hoping it’s not that serious after he injured his left knee against Alaska on Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-7 Sangalang, the No. 2 overall pick during the 2013 PBA Draft, went down clutching his left knee and wincing in pain following a bad fall at the 4:16 mark of the third quarter.

Purefoods coach Tim Cone rushed to Sangalang, who nonetheless was able to stand and shoot his free throws. The former San Sebastian Stags knew something wasn’t right, however, with his knee.

“Ang sabi niya sa team doctors namin may nadinig siya na nag-pop, so base pa lang sa initial test, hindi na maganda,” Hotshots governor Rene Pardo told TEMPO.

Sangalang was battling for the rebound when his left leg got tangled with San Eman, the Alaska center. Sangalang fell awkwardly and needed a leg brace later to support his injured knee.

“He already had an MRI, but we can’t confirm the result,” said Pardo, adding that well-known sports surgeon Dr. Raul Canlas will make the assessment on the test results today.

“So we can’t confirm it at this point, we’ll know by tomorrow. Hopefully it is just meniscus (and not ACL),” said Pardo.

The injury to Sangalang will require him to undergo surgery and a torn meniscus would need two to three months of recovery period. An ACL would necessitate about eight months to a year of recuperation.

It was that kind of a night for five-peat-seeking Purefoods, which lost the game, 93-73, on the day players received their commemorative championship rings after winning the Grand Slam title last season.

The team already missed the services of Marc Pingris, who was given time to rest by Cone after playing for Gilas Pilipinas. He is scheduled to start practicing with the team on Oct. 25.