NCAA MVP Ian Sangalang reveals offer to join SMART-Gilas Pilipinas cadet pool

AKTV/Paul Ryan Tan

Despite a heartbreaking exit for the San Sebastian Stags in the semifinals of NCAA Season 88, Ian Sangalang has made his mark in Philippine basketball.

He is set to win the league’s Most Valuable Player award after teammate Calvin Abueva was rendered ineligible for the award due to a disqualifying foul earlier this season. Sangalang topped the rest of the league in statistics and was an awesome force in the middle for the Stags all season.

So it comes as little surprise that he has an offer to join the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team as part of its cadet pool.

Sangalang revealed to InterAKTV that he had an offer on Monday, shortly after the Stags’ season ended.

“May binigay na silang offer, hindi ko pa alam sa ngayon kung pipirma ako o hindi. Hindi ko pa talaga alam,” said the 6-foot-6 center out of Pampanga.

Sangalang is set to rejoin the NLEX Road Warriors for the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, which opens next Tuesday.

The SMART-Gilas cadet team will be composed of junior players who will make a long-term commitment to the national program. The idea for the team is to have a pool of much younger players training with elite professionals and gaining valuable experience from international stints at a young age, to prepare them for when their generation takes over the senior team.

Last June, prior to the start of the NCAA season, Letran star Kevin Alas told InterAKTV that he had already committed to the program.

“Wala pang signed contract, pero meron nang commitment,” said Alas.

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