AFTER seeing Mac Belo hold his own against top amateur players as well as ex-pros in a recent tournament in Malolos City, two coaches are convinced the former King Tamaraw is without a doubt ready for the PBA.
Aside from suiting up for Phoenix Petroleum in the PBA D-League, the pro-bound Belo recently saw action for Hobe Macway Travel in the annual Republica Cup in Malolos City where he played alongside former PBA players Sunday Salvacion, Bonbon Custodio, and Al Vergara.
Hobe reached the finals where the team lost to Malolos Mighty, which also had an ex-pro in Mark Macapagal as well as amateur standouts Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Ferrer.
Belo’s showing in the short tournament left coaches from the two finalists in awe.
“Ripe for the pros na ‘yan,” said Malolos Mighty coach Mike Fermin. “Belo, Kevin, and Kiefer, hinog na hinog na sila. Talagang pipitasin mo na lang. I’m sure nasa top five sila.”
Even Braulio Lim, the head coach of Hobe Macway Travel, was left impressed by his ward.
“Puwede na siya. Matalinong player. Sisikat ‘yang batang ‘yan,” said Lim, a former player of the University of the East Red Warriors in the nineties.
Fermin, who also coached against Belo’s Far Eastern University team in the UAAP during his days as head coach of Adamson, said a PBA team will be very lucky to have Belo since he already is the complete package and only needs a little fine-tuning to his game.
“Talagang explosive siya. When he jumps and runs the break, explosive. Siguro maski siya masasabi niya sa sarili niya na kailangan pa niyang i-polish ‘yung dribbling niya. Kumbaga sa mga matatanda, ang tawag, may bula. Pero other than that, ‘yung shooting, power sa loob, lakas ng katawan, kumpleto,” said Fermin.
Lim also believes the Midsayap, North Cotabato native is a complete player. For Lim, what Belo only needs is to have a ‘mean’ demeanor on the court.
“Kumpleto na siya. ‘Yung pagiging agresibo na lang siguro. ‘Yun bang kailangang kapalan niya mukha niya ng konti sa court kasi napakabait na bata. Mahiyain. Kung hindi mo siya kilala, para bang hindi mo siya papansinin.
“Kung nasa mas malaking liga na siya, kailangan niyang magpakita agad. Hindi siya puwedeng mahiya sa kasama dahil mas sikat sila. Dapat ipakita niya agad ‘yung laro niya at maging agresibo siya,” said Lim.
Belo had no doubt left an indelible mark on Lim in the brief time they spent together in one team.
“Pinag-uusapan nga namin ‘yun na magpapa-draft na siya. Good luck sa kanya. Dito lang kami para sumuporta sa kanya. Mabait ‘yang batang ‘yan,” said Lim.