MAC Belo has drawn comparisons to Arwind Santos and he himself admitted trying to emulate Marc Pingris, but the Far Eastern University forward stressed he has a long way to go as he tries to follow the path of the two former Tamaraws turned PBA stars.
The hardworking forward said he looks up to San Miguel Beer star Santos and San Mig's Pingris for various qualities; Santos for his skills and court smarts, and Pingris for his work ethic.
“Kay Arwind, talented siya. Gusto ko rin ’yung aggressiveness niya at ’yung pagiging smart,” Belo said.
Belo said he is impressed with the attitude of Pingris, who turned from an FEU benchwarmer into one of the pillars of San Mig in the PBA and of the Gilas Pilipinas national team.
“Unang-una, ’yung aggressiveness niya at ’yung puso,” said Belo, who looks to be on the same track.
A role player last year in a team built around the explosive backcourt pair of Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, Belo has quickly risen to become one of FEU’s top players this season.
By averaging 16.1 points and seven rebounds for the Tamaraws, he earned a place in the Mythical Five alongside MVP Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, Chris Newsome, and Karim Abdul.
But like many other players, Belo said he will trade individual glory for team success.
“Masaya kasi ’yung hard work ko nag-pay-off,” said Belo of the award. “Pero it’s all about team namin sa amin eh. Kaya balewala (ang award) kung wala ‘yung championship.”
FEU is one victory away from the team's first championship since a Santos-led won in 2005. But they still have to hurdle NU in the do-or-die Game Three on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.