BEAU Belga found it unacceptable that Star beat Rain or Shine in its own game, 118-82, in the opener of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal matchup on Monday night.
The Hotshots gave the run-and-gun Elasto Painters a dose of their own medicine, controlling the tempo of the game and breaking away early for the victory that moved them a win away from the Final Four.
“In the last seven years, six years, kami yung fast-breaking team; Tinalo kami ngayon,” Belga said, noting the Hotshots’ 30-5 advantage in fast-break points. “Mahirap tanggapin kasi kami 'yung ganun dati, nagta-top pa kami sa fastbreak.”
“Wala kaming magagawa, we just need to prepare for Wednesday, practice bukas and let's see,” he added ahead of Game Two.
With their running game non-existent, Belga thrived in their half-court sets as he emerged as one of the few bright spots for the E-Painters, finishing with 18 points, including 12 in the first quarter, on top of four boards without committing a single error in 19 minutes off the bench.
But as a unit, the E-Painters were pale shadows of the defending champions that they are.
“Alam mong hindi naman kami ganito eh,” Belga said. “We play better pagdating ng playoffs. Alam namin sa sarili namin yun. It's a learning process, it's a learning ano sa amin kung paano kami magba-bounce back.”
“Alam namin sa sarili namin na kaya namin,” he added after the 36-point loss that marked their third-worst defeat in franchise history, according to chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
“Wala naman kaming magagawa doon eh,” Belga said. “Sabi nga ni coach Caloy, kahit na thirty-six points, or one point, ganoon pa rin 'yun, talo pa rin 'yun. And hindi na magma-matter 'yung talo mo sa Game One pagdating ng Game Two, kasi wala naman ditong quotient. So kailangan lang namin bumawi.”