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IAN SANGALANG once again served as a steady presence for a Magnolia side that is currently struggling in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup.

The lefty big man stood his ground and steadied the ship for Hotshots who are off to a slow start this season following a runner-up finish in this same tournament last year.

The 6-foot-7 Sangalang did it in style, holding his own against formidable counterparts like Northport’s Arwind Santos, Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar as well as San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo behind a near double-double outing in the team’s last three outings.

Sangalang, fresh from a Mythical Second Team selection last season, averaged 16.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 1.0 assist in three grueling games in five days where Magnolia won two games to raise its record to 2-3 overall.

His heroics in the absence of injured gunner Paul Lee and veteran big man Rafi Reavis earned him the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period June 15 to 19.

Sangalang started the week with an 8-point, 10-rebound showing in the Hotshots’ close 80-77 win over Northport, but certainly made his mark in back-to-back games against San Miguel Beer and Ginebra.

Though Magnolia absorbed a tough 87-81 loss against the Beermen, Sangalang held the fort against Fajardo with 16 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks before going all out against the Gin Kings during the Manila Clasico Father’s Day Special.

With Calvin Abueva ejected early in the fourth, Sangalang took matters into his own hands by torching the crowd favorites for 24 points on a torrid 11-of-17 shooting, plus nine boards and two blocks in 40 minutes of action as Magnolia escaped with a thrilling 89-84 win.

Sangalang’s stellar play included six straight points midway through the payoff period where the Hotshots created separation that spelled the difference in the win.

He bested the Phoenix Super LPG power duo of Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins for the weekly honor.

Phoenix’s RJ Jazul, Blackwater’s Jvee Casio and Ato Ular, NLEX’s Calvin Oftana, Kevin Alas, and JR Quiñahan along with Magnolia’s Mark Barroca were also nominated for the weekly citation being handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat.