MAC Belo has been in the PBA for seven long seasons with Blackwater and Meralco, hardly living up to expectations.
He now gets a second chance.
The rights to the 30-year old forward were acquired from Meralco by Rain or Shine, where a highly regarded but largely underachieving player is expected to get a new lease on life on his pro career under coach Yeng Guiao.
"It's a calculated risk on our part," said Guiao, who parted with reliable big man Norbert Torres to acquire the 6-4 Belo in a one-on-one trade that was immediately approved by the PBA's trade committee on Thursday.
"[But] we see a lot of reasons to give him a second chance," Guiao added.
The first order of business, however, is to sign Belo to a new contract. His contract with Meralco expired at the end of a season, making him a free agent.
"That's what we're trying to do now," the ROS coach said.
As for Belo's future with Rain or Shine, Guiao is banking more on the former UAAP Finals MVP and Gilas Pilipinas mainstay as an amateur and not the injury-plagued player who wallowed in Meralco's bench the past two years.
"We know he has been plagued with injuries the past few years, but we also know that he was already injury-free [yet was still not played by Meralco] last season," said Guiao, who has revived the careers of a host of players in his long coaching career.
"But I still believe he has the potential to contribute to this team."
Guiao admitted it was Rain or Shine who made the first move to acquire Belo, but what made the deal harder to pull off was the Bolts' wish to get Torres in return.
"That's what made it harder for us," Guiao said. "Norbert has been playing well for us. Even in practice the past few weeks, he's been really impressive."