BEAU Belga played down his clashes with Paul Lee in their first meeting as opponents on Sunday night.
The burly Rain or Shine enforcer collided with his former star teammate twice in the second quarter, resulting in the latter going down in pain on both occasions.
There was no intent to hurt his former teammate, Belga insisted.
“No, it’s not intentional na saktan si Paul,” Belga said. “Kilala niya ako: pag ako yung may intention talaga na manakit, hindi naman ako ganun.”
Belga was even heard shouting at the official who called the foul on him in a play that left Lee on the floor, slow to picking himself up: “Ref, pag ako bumanat, hindi na makakatayo yan.”
“Siguro part lang ng game. Trabaho namin ‘to eh,” Belga added later. “(Pero) ako yung klase ng player na pag kami tinatalo mo, dedepensahan kita, hindi ka makaka-score ng basta-basta.”
However, Lee and the Hotshots had the last laugh as they emerged victorious, 99-91.
Belga, who tallied six points and four boards before fouling out after 26 minutes of play, insisted frustration didn’t get the better of them.
“On my part, hindi (ako nanggigil),” the 30-year-old cager said. “Ewan ko sa mga kasama ko. Pero sa tingin ko, hindi. Masama lang siguro nilaro namin. Sabi nga ni coach, maayos naman depensa namin. On offense lang, medyo tentative, naghe-hesitate. Pero all in all, okay naman.”
But Belga vowed that if ever the Elasto Painters and the Hotshots meet again the playoffs, they will make it tougher for them to win in a matchup that has grown into a rivalry in recent years after their finals meetings.
“I’m not closing the door na magtagpo kami sa semis,” Belga said. “Pag nagtagpo kami sa semis, magiging magandang series yun. Tingnan natin kung sino mananalo.”
If this game was physical, wait until the two teams meet again in the playoffs, he warned.
“This was an elimination (round) game,” he added. “Pag dating ng playoffs, dun mo makikita kung gaano katindi ang magiging laro. Wala pa ‘to. Elimination pa lang ‘to. Iba pa.”