MANILA, Philippines – For big man Beau Belga, Rain or Shine’s “do-or-die” mindset was the key in beating GlobalPort last Wednesday.
The Elasto Painters managed a tough win against the Batang Pier, 106-96, to become the first team to reach the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Sinet lang namin 'yung goals namin na ngayon lang 'yung laro. Wala nang do-or-die, wala nang Saturday game,” Belga said in the PBA website.
“Talagang sinabi namin sa sarili namin na ngayon lang. Pag nagkaganun, kumbaga, tabla na lang eh. Wala na kaming advantage. So 'yung advantage lang talaga namin ay yung sa game ngayon.”
Belga was referring to their twice-to-beat advantage going into the quarterfinals match against the Batang Pier.
The burly center played a big part in that victory by burying the three-pointer that gave Rain or Shine a 98-96 breathing room against a comebacking GlobalPort, 40 seconds remaining in the game.
Belga said he was hesitant at first after getting an open look at the ring. “Naghe-hesitate pa nga akong itira eh,” he said. “Ilang beses na kong tumira ng crucial, walang nashu-shoot.”
He, however, played his cards right and decided to go ahead.
“Kung hindi ko ititira, magagalit lang si coach, kaya tinira ko na. Nakita ko naman na nakalinya sa ring eh, kaya sabi ko na lang sana ma-shoot. Ayun, na-tsambahan naman,” he said.
That shot helped Rain or Shine close out GlobalPort and Belga finished the game with 17 points, six rebounds and four steals.
With the win, Rain or Shine erased the bitter taste left by their quarterfinals series with Barangay Ginebra during last season’s Commissioner’s Cup when the Elasto Painters also held the twice-to-beat bonus but was wiped out by the Gin Kings.