Mac Belo prefers TNT or favorite team Star, but has no problem joining Blackwater
Mac Belo easily stands out during the first day of the PBA Draft Combine. Jerome Ascano

RISING cage star Mac Belo is more than willing to take the challenge that goes with being the consensus top pick in the coming PBA Draft.

As the countdown begins for the October 30 proceedings at the Robinson’s Place in Manila, Belo admitted feeling some pressure especially after being mentioned by majority of the coaches as the likely No. 1 overall pick in this year’s rookie batch.

“Nandun yung pressure pero continue ko lang yung hard work ko. Hinahanda ko lang yung sarili ko,” said last year’s UAAP Finals MVP who steered Far Eastern University to the championship against University of Santo Tomas.

Belo readily showed what difference he can make in the pro league after topping two of the six individual tests that participants were made to go through on the first day of the Rookie Draft Combine at the Gatorade Hoops Center.

The former King Tamaraw topped the standing vertical test with 33.7 inches and the maximum vertical test with 43.5 inches.

[See High-leaping Mac Belo stands out in Rookie Draft Combine by topping two skills tests]

Blackwater, the team expected to select to select first in the special draft for Gilas cadets, has already come out in the open about its intention to tab the 23-year-old big man.

The native of Midsayap, Cotabato doesn’t have any problem with that.

“Ok naman (sa akin),” he said, stressing willingness to learn, winning attitude, and hard work as the things he can offer to the Elite should they go on with their plan on draft day.

“Yun ang madadala ko sa team kung sila nga ang mag-pick sa akin,” said Belo, who was Gilas team’s most reliable scorer during its campaign in the last Fiba Asia Challenge Cup.

Given the chance, he said he personally preferred playing for either TNT Katropa or Star.

“Siyempre, TNT kasi no. andun si coach Nash (Racela),” said Belo of his former FEU coach. “Tapos No.2 Star, kasi yun ang favorite kong team since high school ako.”

“Pero kung sino man ang pipili sa akin, magpapasalamat pa rin ako sa Diyos.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos