Beau Belga on McCullough’s 51-point night: One player can’t beat five
MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine bruiser Beau Belga didn’t mind that San Miguel forward Chris McCullough scored the most points by an import this PBA Commissioner’s Cup as long his team was able to get the win.
McCullough unleashed 51 points on Rain or Shine but the Elasto Painters still held on, 112-104 win, to trim the series deficit to 2-1 Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Belga said that he’d gladly watch McCullough surpass the record as long as the other Beermen don’t get their fair share of the offense.
“If one person scores that many points and the other players are limited then that’s fine by us,” said Belga in Filipino. “One person can’t beat five and the beauty of this game is Chris Ross and June Mar [Fajardo] was limited.”
Fajardo averaged 14.8 points and 11.3 rebounds prior to Game 3 but was held down to eight points and four boards.
Ross, meanwhile, was limited to six points after he exploded for 10 three-pointers for 34 points in Game 2.
“The import was a solo act and I’d even like him to do it again and if he scores 60 but we still take the win then I’ll thank him for it,” said Belga who had 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in Game 3. “You have to involve everybody, if he scores 70 next that’s okay, as long as the other guys score just two.”
Belga wasn’t just talking smack about McCullough’s one-man act; he was also burying the Beermen late in the game.
Rain or Shine held a 107-104 lead with around 30 seconds in the game and that small of a margin is still a manageable deficit for the Beermen.
Belga waited near the end of the shot clock before pulling off an off-the-dribble three-pointer against the defense of five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo that gave the Elasto Painters a 110-104 lead with 11.2 seconds to play.
“I told myself that I will shoot this one whatever happens, thankfully it went in,” said Belga. “If I missed then we’re in the Lord’s hands. I wasn’t thinking of anything else because we were up by three and the clock was winding down.”
Belga’s three not only sent the Elasto Painters in jubilation as it also got a fun reaction from Gilas Pilipinas center Andray Blatche, who was egging Belga to shoot another three.
Blatche was on the sidelines during the game and he shouted at Belga to shoot one more after the 6-foot-4 power forward drilled a triple for Rain or Shine’s 98-97 lead with 3:45 left in the fourth.
“He was joking with me saying I should take one more and I told him that I will do it later and I made one in the crucial stage of the game. I’m just happy and thankful you know,” said Belga.