Rain or Shine center Beau Belga vowed to be in serious business on Wednesday as the Elasto Painters try to finish off the resurgent Alaska Aces on their third try in Game 6 of their best-of-seven PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-5 Belga has found himself in the eye of the storm following Rain or Shine’s back-to-back losses—78-86 in Game 5 and 99-111 in Game 4—where he also fouled out in both matches while giving Alaska renewed hopes after cutting its series deficit to 2-3.
“Seryoso muna,” said Belga at the end of their team practice on Tuesday noon at the NEGA gym in Greenhills, San Juan, keeping himself focused on the task at hand. “Hindi na maganda ‘yung nangyayari. Nakakabigat na ako sa team, hindi na nakakatulong. Tignan namin kung ano magiging epekto bukas. Maayos naman ‘yung praktis.”
After proving solid numbers of 12.3 points anchored on a sizzling 58 percent shooting from the field on top of 3.33 rebounds in their first three victories, Belga’s numbers—notably on the offensive end—has clearly dropped during their slump, coming up with just 5.0 markers on 26 percent clip aside from 4.0 boards and 3.0 dimes.
More importantly, the 29-year old Belga has also found himself on the short end of his intriguing match-up with Alaska’s do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva, who recently bagged his first-ever Best Player of the Conference award.
But the Gubat, Sorsogon native admitted he’s hardly disturbed with Abueva’s antics—and the fans’ reactions on social media.
“Hindi ko siya pinapansin. Daldal siya ng daldal, pero ako walang pakialam,” said Belga, who was assessed with an unsportsmanlike foul against Abueva in Game 5 when he elbowed the former San Sebastian star midway in the third canto that seemed to have changed the complexion of the game.
“Basta ako maglalaro. ‘Yun lang ‘yung sa akin. ‘Yung sinasabi ng tao na nautakan ako ni Calvin dahil uminit ang ulo ko, hindi uminit ang ulo ko, kalmado nga ako eh. Yun lang,” added the former Philippine Christian U standout.
While he admitted going for the clincher remains as the biggest challenge, Belga sounded confident they have what it takes to get the job done—if they’ll just give their all.
“‘Yun ang pinakamahirap sa isang series, ‘yung pag-close out. Kapag naghahabol ka, nothing to lose, all-out na, wala na mangyayari so ibibigay mo na lahat. Unlike ‘pag may advantage ka, ‘yun ang mahirap. Hindi mo alam kung paano mo iha-handle ‘yung ganung pressure,” he said.
“Andito na kami. Wala ng ayawan ‘to. Paninindigan na lang namin.” – By Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports