PBA: Mac Belo stays ready, gives Meralco a lift in Game 5

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2022 06:28 PM

Meralco's Mac Belo puts up a shot against Magnolia in the semifinals of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup. File photo. PBA Images.
Meralco's Mac Belo puts up a shot against Magnolia in the semifinals of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup. File photo. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- Mac Belo was a bright spot for the Meralco Bolts in their loss to Barangay Ginebra in Game 5 of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup finals.

With Cliff Hodge mired in foul trouble, Norman Black called on Belo who delivered in his nearly 13-minute stint off the bench. The former UAAP Finals Most Valuable Player had four points and two rebounds, and helped the Bolts recover from a 14-point deficit in the final quarter.

Their rally fell short, however, as Ginebra got clutch buckets from Christian Standhardinger and Scottie Thompson in a 115-110.

"Always lang naman ako ready kapag tinawag 'yung name ko," said Belo, who was acquired by the Bolts in a trade in February 2021.

He had a solid campaign in the Philippine Cup, averaging 10.1 points and 5.2 boards per contest for the Bolts. His numbers have plunged in the Governors' Cup, however, with inconsistent playing time. 

In 13 appearances, he is averaging just 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

"Ginagawa ko lang 'yung best ko. Sayang natalo kami. But we need to find ways na maka-bounce back sa series na 'to," said Belo, who played for only the third time in the best-of-seven finals. He was not fielded in Games 3 and 4 of the series.

Meralco coach Norman Black praised Belo's effort in Game 5, and acknowledged that the forward may get more time in the do-or-die Game 6 on Wednesday.

"He was pretty good tonight, came in, and really helped the team. He executed well on defense, that's one of the reasons we caught up," said Black. 

"I expect him to play on Wednesday, yes," he confirmed.

Belo said he was unsurprised to be given extended minutes last Sunday, and will stay ready if and when his number is called.

"Nagpe-prepare naman ako. Lagi rin naman ako nakikinig sa ano namin. Basta ready lang ako lagi," said Belo. "Basta as long as makatulong ako sa team, gagawin ko naman lahat."

"And finals na 'to e, first finals appearance ko 'to, so binibigay ko na lang 'yung best ko," he added.

Game 6 of the series is on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.