ALREADY having a tough time in defending June Mar Fajardo as a quartet, the Rain or Shine frontline was reduced to a trio with the absence of Raymond Almazan in Game Three and for the rest of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against San Miguel Beer.
But Beau Belga readily stepped up, at least offensively, as he registered 14 points, 14 boards, and one block in 29 minutes in the Elasto Painters’ 111-106 victory on Saturday.
While they still let Fajardo get away with monster numbers of 40 points and 20 rebounds in 40 minutes of play, the ROS big men still had the last laugh as Painters emerged victorious to take the upper hand in the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
“Yung effort, willingness dumepensa, at maglaro, yun ang nagdala,” Belga said.
“Nawala si Raymond, sobrang laking sapatos na kailangang punuan: size fifteen yun eh,” he added in jest. “Kailangan lang pagtulung-tulungan. Nakita naman natin yung resulta, may positive na nangyayari.”
“Konting sakripisyo pa,” the 6-foot-5 slotman added. “Kailangan namin punuan kung ano yung nawala.”
Despite teaming up in defending one giant in Fajardo, Belga admitted feeling fatigue in guarding the center considered as the best big man in the league today.
“’Di ganun kadali depensahan si June Mar,” Belga admitted. “’Di sya katulad nila Greg (Slaughter) na one-dimensional player lang, poposte, ho-hook shot lang. Si June Mar, po-post up, fadeaway, which is sobrang laking in-improve nya.
“Yun ang problema namin,” he added. “Hati-hati kami sa responsibilidad. Konting sakripisyo, naganda naman siguro ang kalalabasan.”