AFTER three successive runner-up finishes by Rain or Shine, Beau Belga said the last thing he wants is another second-place trophy.
“Sawa na ako (on runner-up finishes). Sabi ko sa sarili ko, pag nag-Finals uli kami, gusto ko kami naman mag-champion kasi nag-over na nga kami sa grand slam sa pagiging runner-up eh,” Belga told Spin.ph.
Rain or Shine has actually finished runner-up in five of the PBA's last six conference and twice this season, putting them on track to become the first team since Toyota in 1980 to complete a season sweep of second-place trophies.
Toyota also holds the second for most number of consecutive runner-up finishes with five.
A 'grand slam' of runner-up finishes is the last thing Belga wants of course as Rain or Shine begins another campaign in the Governors Cup with a game against San Miguel Beer on Tuesday.
“It’s an achievement for us kasi bibihira yung aabot ng ganung klase na pagkakataon sa amin eh,” he said, referring to the team’s eight semifinal appearances and five trips to the finals over the last eight conferences.
“I’m really thankful about it, but I’m looking forward to this conference na maka-bounce back kami.”
The wide-bodied 6-5 slotman from Gubat, Sorsogon said the recent runner-up finish to Commissioner’s Cup champion Talk ‘N Text left a bad taste in the mouth, especially after losing in double-overtime in Game Seven.
“Siguro naman it’s time for us to get some championships kasi laging masakit eh. Wala 'yung kaligayan eh. Wala yung saya, wala 'yung after ng game ikaw yung magse-celebrate,” he added.
For Belga’s teammate Paul Lee, the Governors Cup represents a fresh start for Rain or Shine after the finals letdown.
“Bagong chapter na ito (Governors Cup) ng Rain or Shine, Balik na uli sa page one,” said Lee, who recorded a PBA career-high 38 points in a losing effort in Game Seven of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Lee said the pain of losing still lingers on, but that won’t prevent the Elasto Painters from working harder as they try to complete unfinished business in the Governors Cup.
“Lagi naman sinasabi ni coach Yeng (Guiao), bawi sa next conference, so kami, hangga’t may chance, try lang kami ng try. Makukuha din namin 'yan (championship),” he added.