Mac Belo has yet to set foot on the PBA semifinal stage since he entered the league three years ago. And the versatile Blackwater Elite forward isn’t shy to say that reaching this phase is still one of his dreams.
“Gustong-gusto ko talaga makaabot man lang ng semis, ma-feel ko man lang yung best-of-five na series.”
The furthest that the former FEU Tamaraw has reached in his young career is the quarterfinal. He’s in the same situation now in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup, where the Elite are battling the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
And Belo and the five-year-old franchise are on the cusp of making it into the semifinals.
They have beaten the Elasto Painters in Game Two, 100-96, to force a rubber match. The Elite may be relatively young, but Belo said that the team is excited to play in a game with something big on the line.
“Excited kami kasi minsan lang naman kami makapasok sa playoffs. So hindi na namin sasayangin ‘tong mga ganitong opportunity,” said the former UAAP and D-League champion.
“Minsan lang kami nabibigyan ng ganitong chance.”
Despite the excitement, Belo was quick to remind that they have to keep themselves grounded and focused.
“Lagi kami nire-remind ni coach Aris [Dimaunahan] about the time and score. Kasi yung last time, nag-relax kami nung huli na eh,” said Belo, recalling their 83-80 loss in Game One where they blew an eight-point lead with 1:32 left to play.
“So, yun yung unang-una niyang sinabi, na ‘wag magrelax hanggang ‘di pa nagbu-buzzer.”