IN his stint with Far Eastern University in the UAAP, Mac Belo has always received words of encouragement from Denok Miranda.
Now, Belo is set to be teammates with his FEU elder, once Belo's drafting by Blackwater becomes official.
Sources said Blackwater has made Belo its pick in the PBA special draft for Gilas cadet players that was done under a 'pre-determined' order during a meeting of the league board on Thursday.
While he denied any first-hand information about Blackwater’s selection, Belo said he is just happy that he has been drafted by a PBA team - a lifelong dream of all aspiring basketball players like him.
“Ang first dream ko naman is mag-PBA. Kahit sino ‘yung mag-pick sa akin, masaya ako. Magandang team ang Blackwater at bagong team. Malaking opportunity para sa akin,” said Belo.
The Gilas cadet has more reason to get excited about joining Blackwater thanks to Miranda, a former FEU guard during the late 1990s who Belo considers Miranda an older brother because of his involvement in the varsity team.
“Siyempre, kuya siya ng FEU eh,” said Belo, who won a championship in his final season with the Tamaraws. “Kapag nanonood o kapag pumupunta siya sa FEU, nag-uusap at nag-aadvise siya lagi.”
“Ngayon, magiging kakampi ko pa,” he added.
On the verge of being officialy picked number one by Blackwater on Sunday, Belo vowed to do his best for the Elite, an expansion team that is now looking to make waves with their mix of talent.
“Ibibigay ko ‘yung best ko na makatulong sa team. Marami rin silang young guys at mga veterans. Hopefully, marami kaming matutunan at maganda ang maitakbo ng team,” said Belo.
As for being part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool, Belo said the opportunity to play in the PBA will enable the cadets to be in top shape all year long.
“Malaking opportunity na maglaro sa Pilipinas, ‘yun talaga ‘yung best feeling para sa akin. Tapos may PBA pa, basta laro lang ng laro. Kapag naglalaro ako, mas okay na ‘yung kundisyon.
"May PBA ka, tapos Gilas pa. Makukundisyon talaga ‘yung pangangatawan mo,” said Belo.