When the playoffs begin, players intensify all aspects of their game to the highest level, including physicality. Hearing the word ‘physical’ may even equate to hearing Beau Belga’s name- something he’s aware of, but doesn’t care much about.
“I don’t care kung magalit kayo sakin basta ako naglalaro lang ako,” quipped Beau on his on-court physicality as he calls it part of his game. “As long as I play, I’ll play.”
In Rain or Shine’s past playoff games, Belga has always been a fixture in rough calls by the referees. This series will not be an exemption.
In Rain or Shine’s debut playoff game this conference against Alaksa, the Gilas reserve had already gotten under the skin of the Aces. In one sequence in the payoff period when Alaska tried to pull away, Belga accidentally clipped Calvin Abueva as they battled for a loose ball. The Beast then dropped hard to the floor as the referees signaled for a possible flagrant foul. After the review, it was deemed a regular personal foul.
Belga has been in that same situation many times, with referees almost automatically signalling for a flagrant review if Beau is involved in any confrontations and hard falls. But for Beau, having a negative perspective to most fans and even game officials serves as his driving force.
“I take it as a motivation. The more sabihan mo ko ng negatives mas tumitibay ako. Yun yung energy drink ko,” Belga shares.
In the dying minutes of their semifinal opener against the Aces, Belga also got into Vic Manuel’s game as they cancelled each other’s technical in one verbal tussle. However, Big Beau just wants to be as tough as possible in a series they want to win.
“Every player naman when it comes to games that count, you will be tough [because] whoever’s tougher, yun yung magsurvive sa series na to,” said Belga, who considers the series a very important one.
Though aware of the possible physical match ups between the big men of the Aces, Belga is just excited for the conclusion of it. “It’s gonna be a good series kasi mas magiging tough to, kung mahahaluan ng konting rough magkakaron yan.”
Alaska head coach Alex Compton commended Belga’s high Basketball IQ. “He’s a good player. Beau brings a lot of versatility. He’s a really smart kid. He’s always been physical and I don’t think that would change. Beau’s gonna be Beau.”
“I think people get so caught up on Beau’s physicality and they miss out the way that he plays smart basketball. He is a very high IQ player,” added Compton, who shows more respect to Beau’s court smarts than his physical play.
With much said about Belga’s physical play, he just had this to say as his final words: “I don’t care whatever they say as long as I play. I’m just playing my game. I’m just being myself. I’m just playing kung ano yung gusto sakin ni coach.”
Beau Belga is Beau Belga. He may have been involved in numerous shouting matches and verbal exchanges, but this giant just blows these things aside and focuses on his game.
“I’m not really a rough player, tough maybe,” he quipped.
In a question of roughness and toughness, one thing is for sure- a PBA center named Beau Belga will always be tough.