YENG Guiao is no longer surprised to see big man Beau Belga playing well for Rain or Shine in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.
The outspoken coach believes the burly 6-foot-5 center is now reaching his true potential as a pro especially following his stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
“Mas malakas ang katawan niya ngayon, mas mahaba ang resistensya niya, though siyempre, losing a little weight can be better. At this point though, I think he’s coming in to his ripe years,” said Guiao.
“Beau has worked harder in practice and has come off the slump. He’s become more assertive by stamping his own brand of game this season.”
Belga was on fire in the Elasto Painters’ 100-90 decision over Barangay Ginebra Sunday that booked for them the first of two outright semifinals slots in the All-Filipino conference.
The former Philippine Christian University standout whose noted for his physical plays and feather touch from the outside, matched his career-high 21 points in the victory against Ginebra, where he scored seven straight points during a stretch in the fourth quarter when the Kings were in the midst of a huge fight back.
Counting the Elasto Painters’ earlier win over Alaska, Belga actually shot an aggregate 6-of-9 from the three-point range.
He averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in that same stretch to win hands down the Accel-PBA Player of the Week honor for the period Dec. 2-8.
“Even before yung Gilas stint niya, naipakita naman niya (Belga) na reliable na siya. In fact, he’s been more assertive already as shown in his game this season, even though early on, he struggled this conference,” Guiao told Spin.ph of his 28-year-old heavyweight center.
While the ball still has to go through former Rookie of the Year and star guard Paul Lee at crunch time, Guiao believes Belga’s inspired plays during the latter stretch of the elimination has helped the Elasto Painters achieve their short-term goal heading into the playoffs as they are currently on a seven-game winning streak.
“Every year naman mas maganda ang pinapakita ng team. And Beau Belga has been a big factor in our resurgence,” added the fiery Rain or Shine mentor.
“But again, kailangan ding ma-complement yung maganda laro ni Beau, which was what Paul Lee did. Same with our other guards like Jonathan Uyloan who has been doing very well. Jeff Chan is slowly coming back, pero si Beau, may leadership contribution na rin kasi siya sa team,” said the 55-year-old multi-titled coach.
Guiao said the team has taken a two-day break after the Ginebra game, but confident Belga is ready for the challenge as Rain or Shine awaits the result of the quarterfinals, while the team prepares for the best-of-seven semifinal series.