BEAU Belga looked like the odd man out when he shared the court with four San Miguel Beer stars at some point in Team Pilipinas’ first tune-up game against Jordan on Monday night.
But the Rain or Shine enforcer actually enjoyed the rare opportunity to play alongside Christian Standhardinger, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Arwind Santos so much that he joked about wanting to be traded to the Beermen.
“Gusto ko ngang lumipat San Miguel eh – ang sarap pala,” Belga said in jest before turning serious. “Hindi … ano, masarap kasama yung mga taong pamilyar na sa isa’t-isa, and kasama ko yung apat na San Miguel, so parang ang dali nung buhay sa akin.”
“Parang ikaw yung mag-aadjust sa kanila,” he added. “And ako naman, hindi naman ako ganun ka when it comes sa pag-adjust sa mga tao eh, so tinitingan ko lang dapat ko gawin.”
The combination of the SMB quartet and the RoS bruiser worked wonders as the national team managed to rally from an early deficit to pull themselves within striking distance, before Jordan held on to a 98-92 win.
That appears to be the task of Belga and the rest of the players who know coach Yeng Guiao’s system like the back of their hands – to bridge the gap for the players who are just starting to familiarize themselves with Guiao’s style of play.
“Yun naman gusto ni coach Yeng eh na even if maraming bago, hindi magbabago yung sistema niya, the chemistry will stay,” Belga said. “And kaya siguro kami sinama ni coach Yeng dito for us to let the new guys know kung ano yung sistema na tinatakbo.”
“Kami, as veterans sa sistema ni coach Yeng, taga-turo kami ngayon sa mga bata,” he added.