Beau Belga showed that he’s more than just a burly six-foot-six slotman, as he bested his fellow big men to reign victorious in the 2018 PBA All-Star Obstacle Challenge, Friday at the Batangas City Sports Center.
This is the first time in league history that the skills challenge featured big men, unlike in the past where the league’s finest guards would take part in the tilt.
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters center clocked in 21.7 seconds in the final round en route to the crown, defeating Blackwater Elite’s Poy Erram (26.9 seconds) and Gabby Espinas of the San Miguel Beermen (30.5 seconds).
“Nakita ko sa NBA na may obstacle for bigs. Nagkataon na napaganuhan big man na maglaro. Sabi ko sulitin namin yung pagkakataon,” said Belga. “Parang napapratice ko din. Nadadala bola sa practice. Marunong ako.”
Belga had to go through Sonny Thoss of the Alaska Aces — the favorite to win the showpiece — in the first round, and Phoenix Fuel Masters’ Justin Chua in the semifinals, to book himself a ticket to the championship round.
Belga will also bring home P30,000.
The other participants were Yousef Taha of TNT Katropa; Aldrech Ramos of Magnolia Hotshots; Russel Escoto of Columbian Dyip; Raymond Aguilar of Ginebra; GlobalPort Batang Pier’s Kelly Nabong; Ken Bono of the Meralco Bolts; and NLEX’s Asi Taulava.
“Maraming magaling,” Belga said. “Blessing lang.”
With Belga’s win, this marks the second straight year where Rain or Shine players have won the Obstacle Challenge. The champion in the 2017 edition in Lucena, Quezon was point guard Maverick Ahanmisi
“Kumbaga na-challenge ako defending champion teammate ko,” said Belga. “Sabi ko I’ll try. Wag lang ma-out sa first round.”