MANILA, Philippines – The 2018 PBA All-Star Week will present an entirely new experience for Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga.
The burly center will be among the 12 participants in the Obstacle Challenge, which takes a new turn this year by featuring some of the league's big men racing against time while showcasing their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.
It is a challenge that Belga has not done in his career so far, as the Obstacle Challenge is usually done by guards.
"Kaya nagulat nga ako na ganoon 'yung format nila ngayon," said Belga.
"Siguro para maiba lang, makikita mo 'yung mga big men na nagdi-dribble, pumapasa, nagko court-to-court. Kaya tingin ko magiging masaya itong All-Star," he added.
The Obstacle Challenge is one of the special side events that will be staged during the second leg of the All-Star Week in Batangas City on May 25.
Apart from Belga, also taking part in the event are: Kelly Nabong (GlobalPort), Raymond Aguilar (Barangay Ginebra), Sonny Thoss (Alaska), JP Erram (Blackwater), Russell Escoto (Columbian Dyip), Ken Bono (Meralco), Justin Chua (Phoenix), Aldrech Ramos (Magnolia), Yancy de Ocampo (San Miguel), Yousef Taha (TnT Katropa), and former MVP Asi Taulava (NLEX).
"Marunong naman akong mamasa," said Belga. "Pero dribbling na zig-zag? Never ko pa na-try."
"Nakakapagdala ako ng bola ng straight lang, pero zig-zag, hindi pa," he explained.
The big man is unsure if he will even practice for the event.
"Kasi baka 'pag nag-practice ka naman ng nag-practice, baka lalo ka lang maging stiff (sa competition). So bahala na kung ano ang kalagyan," he said.
Regardless of the result, what's important for Belga is for the fans to enjoy the midseason classic.
"Ang akin lang naman 'yung mapasaya ang fans ng PBA," he said. "Para sa fans 'yung All-star weekend and para sa kanila gagawin namin 'yun."
Aside from the obstacle course, regular fare such as the slam dunk contest and the three-point shootout are part of the All-Star side events.
The All-Star week kicks off on May 23 in Digos, Davao del Sur pitting the men’s national team against the PBA Mindanao selection, before it proceeds to Batangas for the second leg that will see the Philippine team this time going up against an All-Star selection representing Luzon.
The final phase then goes to Iloilo on May 27 for the game between the Visayas selection opposite the national squad.
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