GILAS Pilipinas' temporary loss was Blackwater's gain at least on Wednesday when Mac Belo put up a solid showing for his mother team in an 83-78 win over Phoenix in the PBA Philippine Cup.
One of the final cuts from the team that left for Australia due to a minor knee injury, the sophomore combo forward eased concerns by churning out 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including two triples, to go with three boards, two blocks, one steal in almost 42 minutes of play against the Fuel Masters.
"Always naman akong naka-support sa Gilas - 100 percent naman yun," Belo said. "Siguro ngayon 'di lang ako 100 percent, kaya nag-decide yung management ng Blackwater tsaka ng Gilas na [wag muna ako isama sa Australia]."
But it looks like he's back in top shape after contributing in the Elite's balanced effort against the Fuel Masters.
"Okay naman ako," the 6-foot-4 cager said. "Naano lang ako before game ng SMB. Minor injury lang naman, may tumitigas lang, may tightness."
Aside from having no more physical pain, Belo also put behind him the agony of missing the potential game-tying three-pointer in their three-point-loss to NLEX last week.
"Oo nga e," Belo said. "Sayang, yun pa naman yung very important game namin, yung against NLEX. We almost won that game pero natalo lang kami sa dulo."
At least they got the job done on Wednesday night and moved a step closer to the playoffs.
"Good win para samin," Belo said. "Gustong-gusto namin manalo kasi this is last game sa eliminations. Umaasa kami na makakapasok kami sa playoffs."