Beau Belga is no believer of shortcuts to success.
Instead, the 6-6 heavyweight Rain or Shine center continues to work his tail off, taking extra shots before practice to make sure he’s ready when the opportunity to shoot comes in the game.
The result was a 16-point output on an efficient seven-of-nine shooting from the field that catapulted Rain or Shine to a kingsized 90-88 upset win over three-time Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text during their titanic battle last Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The big man out of Philippine Christian University was a picture of consistency all throughout the game, scoring jump shots, driving strong to the lane and pulling down key defensive rebounds against Talk ‘N Text’s veteran frontline.
“Before start of practice ako nagsu-shooting kaya dumarating ako ng maaga. So far, iyan (shooting) ang dine-develop ko, yung mid-range shot,” said Belga, a Gilas PIlipinas alternate in last year’s FIBA Asia men’s championships in Manila.
Belga’s baseline jump shot off Jason Castro in the dying seconds proved to be the game-winning basket as the Tropang Texters’ forward Ranidel de Ocampo failed to nail a last-second long jumper off JR Quinahan’s defense, allowing Rain or Shine to escape with its ninth win and 12 starts.
The Rain or Shine heavyweight center, who forms half of the dreaded “Extra Rice Inc.” said coach Yeng Guiao has given him and his teammates the go-signal to shoot whenever they are open.
“Ganun naman si coach, basta libre, itira mo lang. Eh nataon pa sa amin ni JR na nakaka-shoot kami. Nung maka-shoot ako sa second half, nagka-kumpiyansa na ako,” he added.
For his courageous effort, Belga is the unanimous choice for the Accel-PBA Press Corps.’ Player of the Week for the period of January 7-13.
Meantime, the fifth straight win kept Rain or Shine in a tie for second spot with Petron Blaze as both teams continue to jockey for position for one of the top two slots that offers a twice-to-beat incentive. (RD)
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