Ian Sangalang ruled out of PBA Governors’ Cup to focus on recovery from illness

FILE–Magnolia's Ian Sangalang. –

FILE–Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang. 

MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia coach Chito Victolero would let Ian Sangalang focus on his recovery rather than making an attempt of returning for the latter stages of the PBA Governors’ Cup.

An undisclosed illness has kept the lefty center out after the first game of the season-ending conference, and Victolero said Sangalang’s health is the main priority at this point.

“I don’t think he would return this conference,” Victolero said in Filipino when asked after the Hotshots’ 129-109 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We don’t want to force Ian to play. We want him to focus more on his recovery so that he can be in good health once he returns. But again, we will not force him to play this conference, we want him to recover well.”

Sangalang played in Magnolia’s 111-109 loss to Converge last Jan. 29 at Ynares Center in Antipolo City before he was sidelined with the health situation Victolero and the team would rather not discuss in detail.

A recent photo on social media showed Sangalang appearing to have lost some weight, which Victolero explained earlier in the conference was due to the effects of a typhoid fever sustained last November.

His absence has prompted the Hotshots to increase the playing minutes of their other big men in Aris Dionisio and Russell Escoto.

The addition of import Antonio Hester after starting 0-3 with Eric McCree was also aimed at filling up the absence of Sangalang, known for his ability to make plays from the low post.

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