On Wednesday evening against the June Mar Fajardo-led San Miguel Beermen, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ frontline stood the tallest.
Beau Belga was the Elasto Painters’ main man with 19 points and seven rebounds in their 95-80 victory, but other bigs such as Jewel Ponferrada and Mark Borboran also made their mark, as they produced 17 and 11 markers, respectively.
And what made the troika’s outing hard to ignore was the way they shot from rainbow country, as they combined for 10 of Rain or Shine’s 17 three-pointers. The six-foot-five Ponferrada had the most contributions, with five triples.
“Yung mga bigs namin, I keep reminding them that when we play big teams, I’d like them to take three-point shots… If our bigs can hit the three, it gives us a better chance to win games,” said head coach Caloy Garcia.
With that kind of showing, nobody could be more satisfied than Belga himself.
“Yun yung kailangan namin eh. We need somebody to step up sa absence ni Chris [Tiu] and James [Yap] kasi mga injuries naman hindi namin kontrolado yun, nangyayari na lang ng bigla,” said one of Rain or Shine’s leaders after the bout.
However, he couldn’t help but rue the injury bug that has plagued them all season long.
“Kumbaga mga injuries talaga, traydor. Traydor sa buhay ng players yun.
“Hindi namin control yun and the good thing is, all of us stepped up today and hopefully on Friday, ganito ulit laruin namin,” Belga pointed out.
With Wednesday’s victory upping their card to 6-4, the Elasto Painters will now head into the 2018 Philippine Cup quarterfinals. But they still have a game left this Friday, March 2, against crowd darlings Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
A win over the Gin Kings will send them to as high as the number four spot, and that is what Rain or Shine are aiming at right now. With that, Belga hopes that he and his fellow bigs would be able to carry over their rhythm on Friday.
“Kailangan yung mga bigs maka-shoot sa labas kasi ang advantage nila is depensa sa loob. I don’t think hahabulin kami ni Greg [Slaughter] kapag nasa labas kami so we just need to do our thing,” said the hefty six-foot-six big man.
“Kailangan namin magpursige dahil kulang din kami.”