Comebacking Ken Bono wins battle of heavyweights against Beau Belga, JR Quinahan
Heavyweights Ken Bono and Beau Belga square off. Jaime Campos

HEAVYWEIGHT Ken Bono held his own against Rain or Shine’s Extra Rice duo of Beau Belga and JR Quinahan in Meralco’s 98-95 win Wednesday night that kept the Bolts unbeaten in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The 31-year-old Bono played his best game since making it back to the Bolts’ active roster at the start of the conference, finishing with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field in 10 minutes of play.

The points were his first in the league in six years - or since Barako Bull's 77-82 loss to Air21 last December 5, 2010, according to PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III.

And he did it at the expense of a duo considered among the toughest in the league today.

“Hindi naman,” said Bono when asked about his match-up with Belga and Quinahan, who he appeared to have dwarfed with massive frame weighing all of 250 pounds.

“Ginagawa ko lang naman kung ano ‘yung pinagagawa ni coach sa akin. Tactics lang yan and positioning siguro,” he added.

[See Meralco stays perfect after holding off late RoS fightback]

Bono actually outplayed Belga as the Rain or Shine big man only had five points - but with six rebounds – in 23 minutes of play, although Quinahan scored 15 points in playing for 22 minutes for the Elasto Painters, who suffered thier first loss this conference.

A former UAAP MVP out of Adamson, Bono said guarding huge Meralco import Arinze Onuaku in prartice somehow helped him in his match-up against the Extra Rice duo.

“Minsan (ako ang bumabantay), and then si Kelly Nabong. Switch-switch lang naman kami,” said the Bolts big man, who helped Meralco stay perfect after three games in the mid-season tournament.

Now that he’s been given another opportunity to play, Bono is not about to let the chance slip away. Although comfortable with his current playing weight, the Meralco veteran said he’s still trying to shed off some unwanted pounds.

“So far ang target ko mga 240-230. Pag nakuha ko yun, ayos na,” he said. “Nagba-biking ako, workout with our trainer, and shooting.”

But even with his heavy built, Bono said he doesn’t find it hard running up and down the court.

“Sanayan lang yan,” he said with a wink.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos