Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang will not be lax in rendering service to the national team, promising to put their heart on it even as their mother ball club Magnolia Pambansang Manok clashes with Alaska Milk for the PBA Governors Cup crown starting Dec. 5.
"Focus na muna kami sa national team at kung ano ang plano ni coach Yeng. Mapasama man o hindi sa final lineup, nandon ang puso namin at ang suporta namin," said Lee.
"Wala na kaming magagawa dahil napili kaming makasama sa pool. It's an honor and privilege. Ipapahinga ko lang sandali yung slight injury ko, pagkatapos laro na," said Sangalang.
With both still with health issues, national coach Yeng Guiao opted to sit them out in their two tune-up matches versus Jordan on Monday and Wednesday at the Meralco Gym.
Other sit-outs in the first game were Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, Kai Sotto and Stanley Pringle. The Ginebra players were then just done with their semis series versus Magnolia while Pringle has just flown in from the United States.
Aguilar, Slaughter, Tenorio, Thompson and Pringle finally saw action in the second match where Gilas was on top at 82-73 when Jordan walked out with 6:26 left in the game.
Following a shouting match between coaches Yeng Guiao and Joey Stiebing, the latter opted his team to abandon the game.
The Nationals are now to play another pair of tune-up matches versus Lebanon in the run-up to their back-to-back home games in the fifth and penultimate window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Team Phl tangles with Kazakhstan on Nov. 30 then tackle Iran on Dec. 3 at the MOA Arena.
Two days later, the Hotshots and the Aces start their best-of-seven titular playoff at the same venue where Lee and Sangalang are expected to play key roles for their team. (SB)