BEAU Belga vowed to be more focused when No. 1 seed Rain or Shine attempts to deliver the knockout punch against eighth-seeded Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal match on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Belga ended up as the most despised Rain or Shine player following his unsportsmanlike behavior in the team’s 82-79 come-from-behind win over Barangay Ginebra two weeks ago.
But knowing the importance of the quarterfinal game, the heavyweight Rain or Shine big man said there won’t be any “extra-curricular” activity on the floor.
“Kagabi ko pa nga iniisip yung magiging matchup ko sa Ginebra. Pero mas magiging focused ako sa game kesa ano pang mga activity and I’ll be more serious and careful sa mga gagawin ko,” Belga told Spin.ph on Thursday.
Belga said he has learned his lesson after being slapped with a hefty P70,000 fine by the Commissioner’s Office for his behavior in the tension-filled match against Ginebra.
[See Belga fined P70,000 for 'unsportsmanlike behavior,' flagrant fouls; P40,000 fine for Almazan]
However, he said the Elasto Painters were reminded by coach Yeng Guiao to be tough mentally and physically against the Gin Kings on Saturday.
“Sabi lang ni coach na kailangan maging tough kami mentally. Kailangang maging matibay kasi playoffs na nga,” he said.
The 6-foot-5 Belga also mentioned that matching up with Ginebra’s physical import Michael Dunigan is inevitable, but his goal is not to get into the nerves of the former University of Oregon standout.
“Basta ako, goal is ma-contain ko si Mike Dunigan kung siya ma-assign sa akin sa depensa. Ganun din kung mapunta sa akin si Greg (Slaughter),” he added.
[See Mike Dunigan braces for another bruising encounter against Extra Rice, Inc. as Kings clash with Painters in quarters]
When asked how he intends to take the expected verbal tirade of the legion of Ginebra fans that will be trooping to the Mall of Asia Arena, Belga said he just has to be mentally tough.
“I won’t mind what they say or do. Kung ano man ang marinig ko, I’ll be up to the challenge since after what happened sa social media, sanay na ako,” explained the former Philippine Christian University slotman, who was vilified by Ginebra fans on Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter for days.