Bruisers Abueva, Belga expect mind game to intensify as going gets tough in PBA Finals
Tough guys Calvin Abueva and Beau Belga have already clashed twice in the finals. Jerome Ascano

BOTH Calvin Abueva and Beau Belga consider their constant spats in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup finals as nothing more than psywar.

Yet with the way the title series has turned around after Alaska averted a shutout against Rain or Shine on Friday night, expect things to become more intense in Game Five of the title series.

What started as mere bantering is fast becoming personal for the two bruisers especially after both Belga and Abueva were whistled for technical fouls late in Game Four which the Aces won, 111-99.

The two went at each other after Belga was called for his sixth and last foul. As he made his way to the Rain or Shine bench, ‘Big Bo’ went into the path of ‘The Beast’ that sparked a little physical contact.

Belga went to the showers with only six points but with six rebounds, and four assists in 27 minutes of play. He later dismissed the incident as nothing more than a heat-of-the-moment outburst.

Not long after, Abueva followed Belga to the showers after the newly-crowned Best Player of the Conference was called for his second technical foul committed against rookie Maverick Ahanmisi.

“Kasama sa laro yun, frustrated ka e,” Belga said. “Konting pampasaya, kaso (lang) mapa-fine ka.”

Abueva felt the same way, stressing, “Yung emotion andun, siyempre crucial game ito.”

It was the second time in the best-of-seven title series, which the Elasto Painters lead, 3-1, Belga and Abueva went at each other.

In Game Three, Belga tried to plant an elbow on the neck of Abueva, who flopped during the sequence that happened early into the match.

The Alaska star doesn’t see the complexion of the game changing the rest of the series, especially with the Aces hoping to recover from that early 0-3 hole.

“As a player kailangan nating gawin yung dapat, yung sipag, determinasyon sa laro, at depensa,” said the former San Sebastian stalwart, who expects the Elasto Painters to come out with an even greater resolve to finally finish the Aces off.

“Bago nila ibigay yun papahirapan muna tayo, hindi naman basta-basta ibibigay nila yan,” he said.

Belga agreed one hundred percent.

“Wala naman sigurong masama kung lalaro ka ng buhos na,” he said. “Kailangan lang namin higitan o kahit pantayan yung effort ng Alaska. Pare-parehas lang naman kaming tao, wala namang superior sa amin. Lima-lima lang naman yung nasa loob.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos