ROOKIE forward Mac Belo underscored his readiness for the pro level after leading Blackwater to a franchise-best 2-0 start in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup.
Playing like a veteran, the 6-foot-4 Belo averaged 21 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in the Elite’s back-to-back victories over Phoenix and 2016 Governors’ Cup runner-up Meralco to start the season.
His sterling effort made him the hands-down choice for the first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation handed out in the league’s 42nd season.
As it is, Belo already stood out as the first freshman to win two Player of the Game citations since Paul Lee.
The former Far Eastern University standout bested a bevy of candidates for the weekly award led by three-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot of San Miguel Beer, GlobalPort’s high-scoring guard Terrence Romeo, TNT’s Ranidel de Ocampo, sophomore big man Bradwyn Guinto and Sean Anthony, both of NLEX.
Snagged by Blackwater during the special draft for Gilas players, Belo wasted no time proving his worth after debuting with a near double-double effort of 17 points and nine rebounds to help Blackwater register a 94-87 win over Phoenix last Wednesday.
Four days later, the pride of Midsayap, Cotabato banged in 25 points, to go with six boards, three steals and two blocks as the Elite scraped past the Bolts, 86-84.
Belo though insisted Blackwater is still far from its goal for the season.
“Kailangan lang patuloy yung pag-improve namin. Kailangan din patuloy lang magpakundisyon kasi mai-scout din tayo ng ibang teams,” said the 23-year-old Belo.