With a perfect 3-0 record, Rain or Shine center Beau Belga said the team’s combination of young players with a few veteran mainstays has been the key for their early success in the PBA Philippine Cup in the “bubble” in Clark, Pampanga.
Belga, now on his 13th PBA season, said that the younger players of ROS are performing well so far while the veterans are doing everything to help them get good results in the first three games.
“Maganda kasi yung intensity na pinakikita ng mga bata, siyempre kung ikaw beterano, makita mo na ganun sila maglaro, siempre bibigay mo din kung anong kaya mo,” said Belga.
“Pero bilang beterano, kailangan alam mo din kung papanong mag-pacing. Kumbaga, unti unti lang muna kasi mahaba pa ‘tong laban, ang mahirap is yung ma-injury ka tapos ilang days ka di makalaro.”
Rain or Shine opened its all-Filipino conference campaign with an 87-83 victory against defending champion San Miguel Beer last Oct. 13, followed by a 91-82 win over TerraFirma DYIP Friday.
The team improved to 3-0 with a 70-68 triumph versus NorthPort to tie TNT Tropang Giga and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, which also claimed its third win in as many games Sunday night.
Of the 15 players in the Elasto Painters roster, five were PBA veterans with more than 10 years of service.
Gabe Norwood and Mark Borboran are also in their 13th year since they both entered the league the same year with Belga back in 2008. The previous year, guard Ryan Arana joined ROS as a rookie pick.
James Yap, a two-time MVP, is now on his 17th season.
Sophomore forward Javee Mocon starred for the Elasto Painters with 25 points against SMB, while Rey Nambatac powered Rain or Shine’s attack with 19 points and Mocon had 14 points, 10 rebounds versus Terrafirma.
Opposite the Batang Pier, rookie Adrian Wong led the team scoring with 15, a testament, Belga said, of the trust ROS coach Caloy Garcia has on the young guys to help the team.
“Nagkakaron ng kumpiyansa yung mga mas batang player kasi nagkakaron ng chance na makalaro,” said Belga, who is averaging 10.3 points, seven boards and two assists through three games.
“Siyempre kung ikaw bata, papakita mo na kaya mo, and so far maganda kasi nakakapag-deliver sila. Maganda kay coach Caloy bininigyan din niya talaga ng chance yung mga mas batang players.”