LAST man in is last man out.
Rain or Shine banger Beau Belga, the last player to be drafted into the Gilas Pilipins pool, also became the last one to get cut as Chot Reyes submitted his final 12-man lineup for the Fiba-Asia championships in Manila in August.
Reyes announced his decision in a tweet all the way from New Zealand, where his 13-man pool including Belga was deep in training for the August 1-11 showpiece serving as a qualifier for next year's world championships in Spain.
"Beau Belga: the ultimate professional. Tough to tell him. But in the end he understood whats best for the team. Dakila ka," said the Gilas coach in a tweet on his account @coachchot.
Belga later responded in a tweet: "Salamat coach...Thank you rin sa pagtitiwala."
Belga was tapped to beef up Gilas' frontline five weeks ago after as Alaska's Sonny Thoss nursed an and seven-footer Greg Slaughter focused on his studies at Ateneo and his stint with NLEX in the D-League.
The wide-bodied banger, however, quickly turned a lot of teammates into believers with his positive attitude, aggressiveness inside the paint, and long-range shooting unique for a Filipino big man.
At least two players, naturalized center Marcus Douthit and veteran guard Jimmy Alapag, openly appealed to Reyes to include the late-blooming Rain or Shine player in the final lineup.
With Belga out, Douthit, Petron rookie June Mar Fajardo, Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar, Talk 'N Text's Ranidel de Ocampo, and San Mig's Marc Pingris will be manning the frontline for Gilas in the Asian showpiece which the country is hosting for the first time in 40 years.
Point guards LA Tenorio, Jason Castro, and Alapag, gunners Larry Fonacier, Jeff Chan, Gary David, and the versatile Gabe Norwood round out Reyes' Final 12.