COACH Yeng Guiao hopes to see Rain or Shine’s frontcourt still with veteran center Beau Belga's presence in the middle when the Elasto-Painters begin their buildup for the new season.
But Guiao also knows that everything will all boil down to the Rain or Shine management’s meeting with the burly 6-foot-6 center at lunchtime on Tuesday in the team’s attempt to re-sign Belga.
“Of course, I want him (Belga) to stay. If it’s all up to me if I want him to stay, ang pag-uusapan lang nila (with management) eh yung presyo. If it’s a question of wanting, I want him; if it’s a question on money, it’s not my call,” Guiao said.
Belga’s stock rose with his vastly improved play over the last two years as well as his last-minute addition to the Gilas Pilipinas squad last June, where he joined the national squad’s out-of-the-country exposure in Lithuania and New Zealand.
The former Philippine Christian University big man, eventually was the last to be cut from the national squad, ending up as a reserve.
The 27-year-old Belga, who is on a two-month mandatory bond with Rain or Shine after his contract expired last August 31, could be in line for a big raise after two impressive seasons that saw him turn from a fringe player into a major force in the league under Yeng Guiao.
Danny Espiritu, who represents Belga, said they are hopeful that Rain or Shine will grant his ward’s wish of a three-year contract extension that would guarantee him a maximum monthly pay of P420,000.
“Tingnan natin kung ano ang mangyayari, siyempre yun naman ang gusto ni Beau,” said Espiritu, who also manages the careers of PBA stars like Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa and Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio, among others.
“Si Beau naman, tested na siya, kaya nga siya napili sa Gilas, though nailagay siya sa reserve,” he added.
Belga ended the season with averages of 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game for the E-Painters.