Beau Belga scoring prowess fueling Painters’ ongoing streak
PBA PHILIPPINE CUP

Beau Belga scoring prowess fueling Painters’ ongoing streak

/ 05:15 AM April 18, 2024

Rain or Shine Elastopainters' Beau Belga in the PBA Philippine Cup game against NorthPort.

Rain or Shine Elastopainters’ Beau Belga in the PBA Philippine Cup game against NorthPort. –PBA IMAGES

Beau Belga is enjoying a scoring surge perhaps never seen in his Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) career, where he is mostly known for his dual role as a blue-collar work and vocal leader of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

“I’m doubling down on me hogging the ball,” Belga said in Filipino after taking just a few weeks to reset his career-high, dropping 28 points in Wednesday’s 115-105 win over the skidding NorthPort Batang Pier in the PBA Philippine Cup at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Two weeks ago, Belga registered his first career triple-double and scored 25 points in the process as part of an ongoing streak that saw Rain or Shine erase a 0-4 start in the all-Filipino tournament.

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READ: PBA: Yeng Guiao lauds Beau Belga’s consistency for Rain or Shine

Since Belga was thrust into the responsibility as the Elasto Painters’ main scorer, a necessity forced by the injury of rookie center Keith Datu, coach Yeng Guiao’s charges have won five consecutive games and moved within the inside track of the quarterfinal race at sixth spot.

During that streak, Belga has averaged 22.8 points, posting four games of at least 20 in that stretch.

He has rarely averaged double figures in a conference, and did just once in a season during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.“I now take about 16 to 17 shots which is very rare in my career,” Belga said. “But I have to insert myself in the offense in order for us to compete.”

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But Guiao isn’t complaining about Belga’s attempts.

“Of course, we’re happy and elated that Beau has been consistent,” the mercurial coach said. “Of course, like we always say, he needs to work overtime because we’re short on bigs. He has a lot to give so I know he can fill that role.”

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But Belga said he isn’t the only one picking up the slack for the Painters’ offense.

READ: PBA: Beau Belga sets new career high as Rain or Shine beats NorthPort

“It’s not just one guy who’s playing better,” the veteran center said. “It’s always two or three more guys scoring in double digits and that’s what coach refers to as a balanced offense. It’s not just one playing good in one game.”

But Belga keeping his current form will be crucial in Rain or Shine’s chances this conference, especially with a big contest on Saturday when the Elasto Painters travel to Tiaong, Quezon Province, to face the Magnolia Hotshots.

A win allows Rain or Shine to better its playoff path, which could be at least a best-of-three quarterfinal given to teams that will finish third to sixth after the eliminations.

After Magnolia, Rain or Shine wraps up the eliminations against NLEX on May 3 at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Belga spearheaded a fiery 12-0 start which allowed Rain or Shine to seize command and even led by a high of 22.

His all-around contributions, which included 13 rebounds, seven assists and two steals, allowed other Rain or Shine players to deliver, namely Jhonard Clarito and rookie Adrian Nocum.

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NorthPort dropped to 4-4 (win-loss), its promising start that came before the All-Star break now a thing of the past.

TAGS: Beau Belga, Northport Batang Pier, PBA Philippine Cup, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters

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