MANILA, Philippines – Everything seems to be falling into place for Magnolia as it stretched its unbeaten run upon the return of two key players.
The Hotshots welcomed back Ian Sangalang and Rome dela Rosa in a 109-91 victory over NorthPort on Sunday, October 16, that raised their record in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup to 5-0.
Both sidelined for two games due to typhoid fever, Sangalang and Dela Rosa were given ample playing time by head coach Chito Victolero to get their bearings back as they saw action for 15 and 12 minutes, respectively.
“Coach Chito really did a good job of limiting the minutes of Ian and Rome, but at the same time, allowing them to get a feel of the game,” said assistant coach Jason Webb.
“Coach is just building them up. Just like in anything, while we have goals, what is important is growth. We’re seeing the growth of Ian and Rome, they’re coming back.”
Sangalang immediately made an impact as he tallied 10 points and 4 rebounds, while Dela Rosa fired a conference-high 6 points on a perfect 2-of-2 clip from beyond the arc.
As the tournament progresses, Webb said the Hotshots’ two veterans will get increased roles.
“We’re going to lean on both of them heavily, especially Rome on defense and Ian on both the defensive end and offense,” Webb said.
Magnolia will have its mettle tested when it tangles with Barangay Ginebra in another edition of the Manila Clasico on October 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com