BEAU Belga took to heart the rare pep talk import Denzel Bowles delivered during Rain or Shine’s practice on Friday.
With Bowles pouring out his frustrations on the Elasto Painters’ roller-coaster campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Belga – and the rest of the team – put up his effort a notch higher in helping the team pull off an 86-84 win over the Alaska Aces in the Petron Blaze Saturday Special at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Belga finished with six points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the team’s fourth win in nine outings that boosted its bid to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the mid-season tournament.
He admitted being moved by what Bowles told the team a day before the Elasto Painters’ game against the Aces.
“Inisip ko talaga yun kagabi. Yung import namin nagsalita ng ganun, so talagang he means it,” said Belga. “I took it as a challenge. Nakatulog ako late na kasi iniisip ko yung sinabi niya sa amin.
“Kaya talagang ako chinallenge ko yung sarili ko to be better in this game.”
Bowles meant what he said as the former Best Import came out on fire early in the game, scoring 16 points and grabbing four rebounds before hurting his knee in the second quarter to finally call it a night.
Despite his absence, the Elasto Painters managed to hold on the fort and claim the all-important win.
Belga said Rain or Shine played for their injured import.
“Kasi si Denzel every game day binubuhos niya lahat, binuhos niya kanina naaksidente lang,” he said. “So it’s our time na ibigay sa kanya yung laro, na maglaro kami ng maayos para doon sa import naming nasaktan.”
Now all Rain or Shine could do is to wait and see the condition of the 30-year-old Bowles.
“Let’s just pray na hindi serious,” Belga said. “If worse comes to worse na may mangyari kay Denzel, wala naman kaming magagawa. It’s an accident.”