Mac Belo starts comeback from three-month injury layoff with non-contact drills in Gilas practice
Mac Belo has been cleared to play but he's initially limited to non-contact drills as he joined Gilas in practice. Jerome Ascano

]IT has been almost three months since his last game, but Mac Belo looked far from rusty in his first practice with the Gilas Pilipinas pool at the Meralco Gym on Wednesday.

Sidelined by knee injury, Belo participated in the drills of the national team preparing for the Jones Cup in Taipei next month.

The Blackwater star joined 14 others including new Gilas member Christian Standhardinger, Kobe Paras, Kevin Ferrer, and Matthew Wright in the training briefly graced by SBP president Al Panlilio.

"Still recovering pa pero everyday nagiging mas okay naman," said Belo, who bared he started joining Blackwater's training last week.

"Sumasabay na ako kasi may mga ibang movement pa na medyo alanganin so magandang preparation para sa full recovery." 

[See Standhardinger excited to play for Gilas Pilipinas and its uptempo style]

Although he was cleared to play, the soft-spoken cager said he's still not allowed to have physical physical contact with anyone inside the court.

"Sa ngayon, yung bawal yung contact. Di pa ganun [complete] kasi sa recovery din pero step by step," he said.

For now, Belo, who showed his commitment to the national team by showing up every practice, was just glad he's back in harness.

"Syempre masaya ako kasi matagal din ako nawala sa basketball so talagang excited talaga ako na, kahit nung before pa ko mainjury parang gusto ko na maglaro," he said. 

[See Chot Reyes not closing door on Jeron Teng but admits joining Gilas for SEAG 'difficult']

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