Effort pays off as Blackwater neutralizes Ginebra’s height advantage
Mac Belo won’t deny that Blackwater’s 94-77 victory against Ginebra on Friday was special for a lot of reasons.
For one, it’s only the Elite’s second franchise victory against the crowd favorites, and the first to come in an all-Filipino conference.
It also allowed Blackwater to start the year right and continue its winning run to move up to 2-1 in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
“It’s really very special win for us because this is our first game in 2018 and the moment we entered the dugout, we all felt that we wanted to win,” said Belo, who uncorked 22 points on a 4-of-7 clip from three, to go with seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
The win, however, didn’t come easy as Belo and the rest of the Elite had to double or even triple their efforts just to neutralize Ginebra’s glaring size advantage.
“We really doubled our effort because we’re smaller than them,” he said. “It’s a good thing that Poy (Erram) stepped up and tripled his effort against Japeth (Aguilar) and (Greg) Slaughter.”
Erram partnered with Belo in leading Blackwater as he nabbed 22 markers, 11 boards, and four rejections in the confidence-boosting triumph.
Blackwater also drew inspiration from the patients of the Hope for Lupus Foundation, an institution which the team has been advocating since last year.
“We’re showing our support to those patients and we feel that we’re representing them,” said Belo as he proudly pointed out the Hope for Lupus patch seen on the team’s jerseys.
Blackwater wore violet shirts as warmers for the game in effort to spread awareness on the illness and promote the Hope for Lupus Run on January 21 in SM Mall of Asia.
“In our own little way, we feel that we’re able to help them. And with this win, hopefully, we’re able to bring smiles to their faces,” Belo said.
And the Elite hope to keep on smiling as they seek to sustain this groove as the Philippine Cup progresses.
“We still need to improve a lot as a team. But now, we’re able to show that we’re blending well with each other. We just need to continue this,” he said.
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