ADMITTING he can’t guard June Mar Fajardo one-on-one, Beau Belga turned to an unlikely advantage over the Petron behemoth to help Rain or Shine score a 103-95 victory in Game One of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.”
Without one half of the Elasto Painters’ 'Extra Rice Inc.' in injured JR Quiñahan, Belga still held his own against the sophomore slotman, but needed to use his quickness over the 6-foot-11 Fajardo.
“Pag dating naman sa loob, hindi ko kaya eh. Pag ako lang mag-isa, kawawa ako,” admitted Belga, who hauled down only two rebounds, but had 11 points, including a triple, on top of two blocks.
Only rookie big man Raymond Almazan finished in double-figures in rebounding with 10 along with three blocks for the Elasto Painters, who were outrebounded by the Boosters, 60-55.
“Kailangan pa rin kaming tulungan, kahit yung mga guards, yung ibang bigs, kailangan tumulong,” Belga requested.
Fajardo had 15 of his team’s rebounding output and continued to live up to his status as the Best Player of the Conference top candidate by adding a game-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and three blocks that went for naught following the Petron loss.
It’s no wonder the Elasto Painters as a unit, turned to their transition game to thwart the Boosters, who usually employ a short nine-man rotation that thrives on the half-court set.
"Mas deep yung rotation namin sa kanila, so kung fast-paced yung laro, mahirap ring makakatagal sila ng takbuhan talaga,” Belga said as the Elasto Painters suited up a total of 13 players. “Kapag nakipag-sabayan ka, medyo baka kapusin kayo pag dating sa dulo.”
Belga was also surprised the Elasto Painters won despite their woeful three-point shooting in the game where they missed all but two of their 24 attempts from beyond the arc.