The absence of Ian Sangalang dealt a major blow to Magnolia, which went 1-4 minus its star big man.
The slump left the Hotshots in a precarious position. At 4-5, they still need to win their last two games to avoid elimination.
Fortunately for Magnolia, help is on the way.
Sangalang is set to return from a wrist injury while Wayne Chism, the former Best Import, will also make his debut in the Hotshots’ next game on July 4.
“We’re almost complete,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero on Wednesday after wrapping up practice at Ronac Art Center in Ortigas. “Ping (Marc Pingris) is still out but at least Ian’s back and he beefs up our frontline. We also have Wayne who is very experienced.”
“It was big not having Ian because without him, we’re not that solid up front.”
The 26-year-old Sangalang hasn’t played since hurting his right wrist in the first half of the Hotshots’ 81-79 win over the Meralco Bolts on May 18.
“I’m really excited to play again and help my team make the playoffs. I feel 100 percent,” Sangalang told INQUIRER.net in Filipino.
“It was tough not being able to play for five games. It was also hard for the team with me and Ping out plus, our most of our last five games were against tough teams and were 50-50 games.”
Magnolia plays NLEX first before taking on San Miguel Beer on July 7 to end the elimination round.
Written by: Mark Giongco
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