BEAU Belga has been to the semifinals numerous times already to know that it’s anybody’s ballgame there.
Too bad, Rain or Shine came a few seconds short of getting back to that once familiar territory after seeing its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign come to an end with a 118-114 loss to TNT Katropa in the rubber match of their quarterfinal matchup.
So after nine straight semifinals appearances, the Elasto Painters have missed the Final Four for the fourth straight conference.
“Sobra (nakaka-miss), pare, apat na sunod na ‘to,” Belga said after the game. “Hopefully next season, maiba naman. Makarating lang ng semis, hindi mo alam eh. Yun naman barometer ko eh: makapasok ng semis, and hindi mo alam, yung semis naman, wala nang advantage dyan.”
“Kung sino na makabulag dyan, ‘di ba? So yun lang,” he added. “Sobrang nakakamiss, nine straight tapos apat na sunod kang na eliminate, yun yung nami-miss ko.”
Belga left it all out on the court on Friday night in his bid the return to the semifinal stage, finishing with 18 points, 10 boards, four assists, and one block.
“Sabi ko nga sa sarili ko eh, kung pe-pwede lang akuin lahat, aakuin ko eh, kaya lang ‘di pwede eh,” Belga said. “Five on five ang laro eh.”
“Sabi ko nga sa teammates ko, ‘kung ayaw niyong tumira, ibigay niyo sakin, ako na lang; baka sakaling maka ano tayo,’” he added. “And lahat naman ng decision na ginawa ko kanina, medyo okay naman, Nagagalit nga sila sakin na pinagagalitan ko sila. Pero ako, sabi ko, ‘akin na. Kung matalo tayo, okay lang, ako may kasalanan.’”
True to his word, Belga refused to pin the blame on J’Nathan Bullock when the ROS import threw an errant pass to Belga that led to a turnover in their last offensive play where they could’ve at least tied the game again.
“Sabi kasi ni coach Caloy, pop out siya [Bullock] sa labas then atake one on one, tapos spread ako sa labas tapos dun ako antay,” Belga related. “Nagulat ako bigla niyang drinop pass eh wala na malayo na ako, momentum ko paatras pero kung pa pasok momentum ko, kuha ko, and kung medyo pasa niya papunta sa corner, malay mo, ‘di ba?”
“Sabi nga samin ni coach, maganda naman nilaro namin natalo lang, andun pa rin kami sa dulo di naman kami nag give up basta,” he added.
So Belga and the rest of the E-Painters will just have to do the same thing again, although they’ll have to wait again before next season starts.