BEAU Belga sees a silver lining in Rain or Shine’s triple overtime loss to Barangay Ginebra on Friday night.
Taking to the limit a team as talented as the Kings is proof that the Elasto Painters can match up well against those considered title contenders in the PBA Philippine Cup, according to the burly veteran.
“Worth it naman. At least alam namin na kaya naming mag-compete kahit sinong team pa,” said Belga in the aftermath of Rain or Shine’s 100-92 setback by the end of the eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Belga had a team-high 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists. He had seven of his output in the fourth quarter when the Elasto Painters rallied back and sent the game into overtime.
But he never scored again after that, and missed a potential game-winning shot in the first extra period. Belga earlier also botched a long jumper at the end of regulation and paved the way for overtime.
“Yun ang pa-practisin ko kung paano tumira ng last shot,” he said.
Belga admitted though, fatigue factor finally caught up with him, adding it was the first time in his career that he played 44 minutes in a game.
“Medyo at the end part,” he replied when asked about it. “Talagang naramdaman ko yung pagod. Kaya nung huli sabi ko ‘sub’ na, kasi nararamdaman ko magka-cramps na ako.”
“Sabi ko na lang sa sarili ko, kung para sa amin ito, para sa amin.”
It wasn’t, and the Elasto Painters went on to close out their elimination round campaign with a 6-5 record to clinch the no. 4 seed and arrange a best-of-three showdown with the Kings in the quarterfinals beginning on Monday.
In a way, it helps the team to get prepare in their short series against the Kings.
“Sabi nga ni coach Caloy (Garcia), matalo tayo sila (Kings) pa rin naman ang makakalaban namin. Kaya good test for us,” said Belga.
“Kailangan lang namin ma-polish ng kung anong puwede naming gawin against Ginebra,” he stressed. “Mahirap manalo against Ginebra sa totoo lang. Come Sunday prepare, and then laro ng Monday.”
As of now, Belga just wants to sleep and rest.
“Pakiramdam ko gusto kong humiga,” he said after playing in the first triple overtime game in the league since the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup encounter between NLEX and San Miguel.