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MANILA, Philippines – What’s past is past.
That’s how Ian Sangalang put things to perspective as Magnolia drew first blood against San Miguel in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals with a gutsy 99-94 win on Wednesday, May 1.
The win may set the tone for the Hotshots, but it could also trigger a Beermen comeback just like what happened when they clinched the All-Filipino title last year in 5 games after dropping the series opener.
“Ibang usapan na ngayon. Marami na kaming pinagdaanan. Tuloy lang namin ‘yung ginagawa namin,” Sangalang told reporters.
(It’s a different story now. We’ve already been through a lot. We just have to do what we’ve been doing.)
Since falling victim to San Miguel in the Philippine Cup finals last season, Magnolia has further established its reputation as one of the most feared teams in the league by clinching the Governors’ Cup crown.
The Hotshots then took a grueling path back to the All-Filipino finals – finishing the elimination round at 6th place before toppling Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine in playoff series that both went the distance.
With the challenges they had to hurdle, Sangalang is not lacking belief that Magnolia is primed to take down the reigning four-time Philippine Cup champions.
“Lagi ko sinasabi na maniwala kami, na kaya namin mag-champion. Kaya namin silang talunin basta maniwala lang kami,” he said.
(I always say that if we believe, we can win the championship. We can beat them as long as we believe in ourselves.)
“As long na naniniwala kami, alam ko na – ‘yun nga sabi ko noong last game na nanalo kami – may mapupuntahan kami.”
(As long as we believe – just like what I told my teammates the last time we won – I know that we will go places.)
Just like last season, Sangalang and the Hotshots expect a fightback from the Beermen.
“Last year, nagulat kami sa ginawa nilang adjustment. Kailangan din namin mag-adjust, kailangan namin pag-aralan kung ano ‘yung mga adjustment na gagawin nila,” he said.
(Last year, we were surprised by their adjustments. We also need to adjust and study the adjustments that they will make.)
Game 2 is on Friday, May 3, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com