RAIN or Shine management is bent on keeping the services of bruising center Beau Belga once his contract with the team expires by the end of October.
Co-team owner Raymund Yu stressed the 6-foot-6 heavyweight remains part of the team’s core which the franchise intends to build on in the years to come.
Yu is well aware the stock of the big man out of Philippine Christian University has risen since last year when he helped the Elasto Painters win a first-ever PBA title during the Governors Cup before becoming an alternate in a Gilas Pilipinas squad that placed runner-up behind Iran in the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship.
“We consider Beau (Belga) as part of the future of our team. His physical presence is what we value the most. Malakas siyang humampas di ba?” Yu told Spin.ph.
Belga, who forms the tough-playing “Extra Rice, Inc.” duo with JR Quinahan, has averaged 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 48 games so far this season that saw Rain or Shine finished runner-up behind champion Talk `N Text in the Philippine Cup.
Danny Espiritu, who represents Belga, said they will start negotiating with Rain or Shine management for a fresh three-year deal once the existing contract expires next month.
The well-known players’ agent disclosed that at least six teams have started to inquire about the availability of Belga, although he stressed their commitment and priority right now remains with Rain or Shine.
“Wala namang official negotiations, just feelers. Kailangan muna naming ayusin `yung pag-u-sap sa mother team ni Beau,” said Espiritu.
Belga’s game has improved by leaps and bounds under the watchful eyes of Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who has transformed the 27-year old big man into a legitimate inside and outside threat owing to his uncanny post moves and three-point shooting.
Belga came to Rain or Shine from Meralco two years ago in a three-team deal that also involved Air 21.
The E-Painters essentially got the native of Sorsogon in exchange for Jay-R Reyes and a 2014 draft pick in the complex trade that also involved Sol Mercado, Ronjay Buenafe, Ronnie Matias, Paolo Bugia, and future picks.