PROOF that he’s taking his inclusion in Gilas Pilipinas seriously, burly Beau Belga has decided to cut down on one thing that has become synonymous to him – extra rice.
The Rain or Shine big man said he is bent on getting in the best of shape that he has scaled down his food intake since being named to be part of the national team training pool of coach Chot Reyes.
“Ay wala na, nagbawas na ko ng kanin ... Extra ulam na lang ako ngayon,” Belga, the other half of the Elasto Painters’ famed Extra Rice Inc., shared to Spin.ph while letting out a huge smile.
“Kailangang maging fit na talaga tayo, bandila na ng bansa ang suot natin.”
Likewise, Belga said he now goes to bed early in order to be in tip-top condition so he can edge closer to realizing his dream of becoming a national player.
“Wala na akong puyat ngayon. Nag-cut down na ako ng pag-iinternet sa gabi, kailangan kumpleto tulog at makundisyon,” bared the 225-pound big man.
Being named a part of the Gilas training pool is already a big honor, he said.
“Hindi ko talaga ini-expect na mapapasama ako (sa pool). Talagang ang alam ko tutulong lang ako (sa practice),” said the 6-foot-5 pride of Gubat, Sorsogon.
Asked what he can contribute to the team composed of PBA players, Belga disclosed he’s there practically to do the dirty job.
“Basta kung ano ang kaya kong i-contibute at ipapagawa sa akin, game ako dun,” he added.
Belga attended the Gilas training only as a practice player, but Alaska center Sonny Thoss begging off from the team's trip to Lithuania to seek treatment on his injured knee in Beijing, China opened a place for the Rain or Shine slotman.
“Siya ang pumalit kay Sonny (Thoss), we’re missing a big man. Beau gives us that big guy. Ang maganda kay Beau mayroon siyang outside shooting,” said Reyes, who is very much impressed with Belga’s showing in practice.
It was not only Reyes who welcomes the inclusion of Belga at Gilas but also fellow big men Thoss and Ranidel de Ocampo.
Thoss said Belga is one of the most underrated slotmen in the PBA, and his possible stint with the national team is a perfect time for him to show his true worth.
“He got the shooting, he’s got a big body. He can defend the post. He’s a talented player and I wish him all the best,” said Thoss.
“Malaking bagay si Beau. May opensa at depensa tapos big man na mabilis pa. Yun ang kailangan natin,” de Ocampo said.
Belga will be joining the team in Lithuania later this week as he will be applying for a visa only on Monday.
Gilas team manager Butch Antonio is hopeful that like the rest of the team, the important document will be released three days after.
“As soon as he gets his visa, he will immediately fly to Lithuania to join the team there. So sana hindi matagalan ang release para hindi siya maatraso ng pagsunod dun,” Antonio said, who will accompany the national team in the flight to the Baltic State on Sunday.