MAC Belo conceded the San Miguel Beer defense that gave him and the rest of Blackwater a wake-up call after a 118-93 loss to the Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.
Coming in as the second-leading scorer among rookies with a 17-point average in his first seven games, the Elite freshman was held to his lowest output in his young career with four points - only the second time he failed to reach double figures in his young PBA career.
The 6-foot-4 forward missed all but one of his five shots in 22 minutes as a starter as Defensive Player of the Year winners Arwind Santos and Chris Ross, and anther elite defender in Ronald Tubid took turns in manning the rookie sensation.
“Siyempre mahirap din sa part ko na binibigyan ako ng iba't-ibang defense,” admitted Belo, who was even outscored by fellow Gilas cadet Arnold Van Opstal (six points in two minutes). “So para sa sarili ko, marami pa 'kong kailangan iimprove. Marami akong natutunan sa game na 'to.”
One thing Belo learned was the Beermen’s methodical approach to every play which he said the Elite can emulate.
“Alam naman natin na champion team talaga sila,” Belo said. “So, marami akong natutunan - hindi sila nagmamadali, kung kailan sila aatake, may pinupuntahan pa sila sa post.”
“Grabe yung pagiging mature nila pagdating sa laro,” he added.
The same can’t be said of the Elite, at least on Friday, as they allowed the Beermen to zoom to an early lead that ballooned to 29 points in the third quarter, eventually dealing Blackwater its fourth loss in eight games.
“Isa lang ibig sabihin nung talo: kailangan pa namin mag-improve as a team and individually,” Belo said.