The spotlight may be on rookie Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. now that the Blackwater Elite are up 3-0 in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, but Mac Belo has also been bringing the goods in their impressive start.
Belo collected six points and eight rebounds – highlighted by a go-ahead bucket of an offensive board – in their 94-91 overtime win over the Meralco Bolts in the conference’s opening day last May 19. He then followed it up with a 20-point, 13-rebound, six-assist outing in a stunning 108-107 OT victory over defending champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel five nights later.
And on Sunday, the three-year pro out of FEU was part of the Elite’s well-deployed attack to compound the woes of Columbian Dyip, 118-110. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Belo, however, credited his teammates for his steady outings, calling them “willing passers”.
“Naglalaro kami para sa bawa’t isa, hindi lang sa sarili namin. Kumbaga kung sino yung mainit, siya yung binibigyan nung bola. Kaya malaking tulong din sa’kin mga teammates ko kasi willing passers sila, kaya nao-open,” he said.
“Wala ka nang ibang gagawin kundi titira na lang,” added the 26-year-old from Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Belo added their unselfishness is due to their strong belief that each and every player in the Elite can contribute on offense. That maxim was evident in their win versus the Dyip, since five men finished in double figures.
“Sa’min, kahit sino naman pwede umiskor. ‘Di pwedeng mag-focus lang sa isang player kaya nahirapan din yung depensa, kaya mas madali sa’min yung opensa. So wala ka nang ibang gagawin kundi titira na lang talaga,” he said.
It also helps to have Parks, Jr. and the hulking Alex Stephenson, Belo said. “Malaking factor si Ray-Ray tsaka si Alex kasi na-space ko yung floor, so wala na akong ibang gagawin kundi titira na lang or ipapasa kay Alex sa ilalim.”
But as well-rounded as the Elite are on offense, Belo said that it is their defense where they focus. Interim head coach Aris Dimaunahan and his staff have put premium on defense ever since.
“Pinapahalagahan talaga yun ni coach. Doon siya mas tutok. Yung opensa naman namin, kahit sino naman pwede umiskor.
“Mas nagfo-focus kami sa defense. Kahit sa practice, kung big guy namin kaya dumipensa ng small guy, kaya kahit mag-scramble kami sa defense, maco-contain namin bawat isa. Walang problema,” said the 6-foot-4 forward.
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