Ian Sangalang readily admitted that he and the rest of the Magnolia Hotshots were caught off guard by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the opener of their PBA Philippine Cup semi-final series.
Rain or Shine's physicality and balance offense left the Hotshots struggling to cope up with the second-seed Elasto Painters, who came away with an 84-77 victory in Game 1 Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"Feeling ko nabigla kami dun sa ginawa nila, di kami ready," Sangalang conceded.
Magnolia overcame an early 10-point deficit but blew two eight-point leads in the third quarter when Javee Mocon, Rey Nambatac, Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood got their shots going in the second half.
Mocon and Nambatac combined for 15 points in the decisive third to put Rain or Shine ahead for good.
"Medyo hindi namin narespeto yung iba," Sangalang admitted.
Sangalang, though, is optimistic that Magnolia will make a quick bounce back in Game 2 set Sunday at the Big Dome.
"Good thing mahaba ang series na 'to, pwede kaming makabawi," he said.