Ian Sangalang was a dud in the first 24 minutes of Game 3 of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals between Magnolia and Rain or Shine. He wound up scoreless at halftime with the Elasto Painters leading, 42-35.
After getting a pep talk from Magnolia veteran Marc Pingris during intermission, he soldiered on and came alive in the second half as the Hotshots rallied to take an 85-74 win, their first in the best-of-seven series.
Sangalang was instrumental in the victory, scoring 10 points in the crucial stretch including a hook shot against Beau Belga with 50 seconds remaining to put the game away, 82-74.
His explosion came after Paul Lee scored from way beyond the arc to regain the lead the Hotshots last tasted in the second period, 68-67 with 8:29 remaining.
Sangalang took charge from there and wound up with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Lee chipped in the same number of points, six rebounds, and a pair of dimes.
Justin Melton, who also unloaded a timely three-pointer in the final 4:13 of the game, and Jio Jalalon combined for 17 points.
"I just remained positive after the slow start and believed in my teammates especially Ping (Pingris)," Sangalang said in Filipino after the game.
Rain or Shine was in control for the most part. But the Hotshots proved too much to handle in the fourth period, where they outscored the Elasto Painters, 28-11.
Belga paced Rain or Shine with 12 points. Norbert Torres added 10 points built on two three-pointers.
Three-pointers abandoned the Elasto Painters just when they needed them most. While their shooting prowess keyed their Game 2 victory, things didn't click from that range as the Elasto Painters ended up shooting only 25 percent from the three-point area (10-of-40).
Magnolia 85 - Lee 16, Sangalang 16, Melton 9, Jalalon 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 7, Barroca 6, Reavis 6, Brondial 5, Simon 3, Ramos 2.
Rain or Shine 74 - Mocon 18, Belga 12, Torres 10, Daquioag 7, Yap 6, Nambatac 6, Norwood 6, Alejandro 3, Rosales 2, Borboran 2, Ponferada 2.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 35-42, 57-63, 85-74.
- Magnolia scored 12 points early in the second period while making things tough for the Elasto Painters, who went scoreless in the first 5 minutes and 11 seconds of the second half.
- Four Magnolia players finished with at least 10 rebounds. Rafi Reavis had 11, while Marc Barroca and Jio Jalalon got 10 each.
Game 3 is on April 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum