BEAU Belga has to lead by example.
After challenging the Rain or Shine young guns to put everything on the line as the Elasto Painters sat on the verge of elimination in the PBA Philippine Cup, the burly center had to back up his words by coming through with a big performance in the team’s Game 6 win over Magnolia Friday night.
Belga scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field to help Rain or Shine pull off the 91-81 win that forged a winner-take all encounter for the remaining finals berth in the All-Filipino conference.
As one of the veterans in the Rain or Shine roster, Belga said he had to show the way for the others – especially the young one – to follow.
“Hindi puwedeng sasalitaan mo lang sila. You need to show them kung anong klase ng player ka,” said the ever vocal Rain or Shine stalwart.
“For them to follow, I need to step up my game.”
Shortly after the Elasto Painters found themselves trailing the Hotshots, 2-3, in the best-of-seven semis series, Belga addressed the young players of the team prove themselves in such critical situation.
“Sabi ko, do-or-die. Wala ng reserve-reserve ng energy dito, labasan na lahat,” he said.
They abide by what he said as guys such as Rey Nambatac, Norbert Torres, and Kris Rosales played with nerves of steels to prevent Magnolia from ending the series.
Torres finished with eight points, while Rosales added seven while playing a perfect game after going 3-of-3 from the field.
But it was Nambatac who really shone for Rain or Shine as he buried four pressure-packed three-pointers in the fourth quarter that allowed the team to pull away for good against the Hotshots. He finished with 16 points, including 13 in the final period.
“The good thing everybody stepped up in this game,” said Belga.
Now another sudden-death stares the Elasto Painters in the eyes and Belga hopes the young turks and the rest of the team will again play with the same urgency as they did the previous game.
“Game 7 for sure, paguran na ito. “Kanya-kanya ng labasan na ng kung anuman yung meron pa kayong natitira,” he said.
“Wala ng taguan, all-out na.”