COACH Yeng Guiao said heavyweight center Beau Belga’s much-improved leadership on and off the court has played a huge role in Rain or Shine’s return trip to the Finals in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup for the second straight season.
Guiao knows that it was only a matter of motivating Belga and pushing him hard in practice to get him fired up and help him reach his potential as a pro.
They Said It!
“He is not only improving his game, but his leadership as well." Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao on Beau Belga
“We all know he (Belga) has a mean defensive game. He is not only tough on the outside but also on the inside. I keep pushing him hard because I know he still has a lot to show,” Guiao said of his wide-bodied big man, whose sterling performances in Games Four and Five of their semifinal series against Petron helped him earn his second Accel-PBA Player of the Week citation for the conference.
The rugged Belga showed that he also has a reliable perimeter shooting, draining a crucial three-pointer from deep corner late in the game to help Rain or Shine secure an 88-83 Game Four win last Monday en route to a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Four days later, Rain or Shine, which played without Guiao, who was serving a one-game suspension, barreled his way in for 18 points and nine rebounds to steer his team to a 97-88 series-clinching win over Petron.
Rain or Shine surprised everyone by beating the talented but underachieving Petron squad in the series, 4-1.
“He is not only improving his game, but his leadership as well. He has an inside game and has a strong perimeter game,” added the fiery Rain or Shine mentor, who is eyeing his first all-Filipino title as a coach.
Sophomore guard Chris Tiu said Belga’s locker room presence has no doubt left a strong impact for the Asian Coating franchise, whose average age in the team is somewhere between 26 to 28 years old.
“Beau played a big brother role to us in the entire conference, especially in the semis. He vocally corrected our mistakes and gave suggestions. He also sacrifices his body on the court for the good of the team,” said Tiu.
Rain or Shine is now waiting for the winner of the San Mig-Ginebra semifinal series to determine its Finals opponent.