With a few days of practice now tucked under his belt, Mac Belo makes his much-awaited debut for his new team when Rain or Shine collides with San Miguel Beer in the main game of the PBA On Tour on Wednesday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig.
Belo inked a one-year deal with Rain or Shine after a marathon meeting with coach Yeng Guiao and management last week. He swapped spots with big man Nortbert Torres, whom Rain or Shine shipped to Meralco last month.
Guiao confirmed that Belo is set to see action versus the Beermen in their 7:30 p.m. encounter.
“Mac has practiced with us the last four days and he's catched up well with what we're trying to do,' Guiao told the Manila Times.
Although it's understandable that Belo has been out of commission for months since he was used sparingly by the Bolts last season upon recovering from a back injury, the fiery ROS mentor believes the veteran forward simply needs to consider his chapter with the Elasto Painters as a “new beginning.”
“This is a new beginning for Mac. I don't even think we need a heart to heart talk. I know he's motivated to play as it is and whatever happened in his previous team, I don't want to meddle with it,” he added.
The 6-foot-4 Belo has been a well-known lethal scorer inside and out since his collegiate days where he starred and even led Far Eastern University to the 2015 UAAP men's basketball title, en route to winning the Finals Most Valuable Player.
His stock rose from there, enabling him to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas, winning two Southeast Asian Games men's basketball gold medals in 2013 and 2015, along with championships in the SEABA and SEABA Cup in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
In fact, Belo had a productive first three seasons with Blackwater, and went on to average a PBA career-best 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 36 games during the 2019 season. His stellar performance helped the franchise reach the playoffs in the Commissioner's Cup.
Guiao believes in due time, as Belo earns his minutes and gains confidence, he'll be able to contribute for ROS, which is gunning for a strong title run when the PBA's 48th season opens on Oct. 15.
ROS, which enters the game with a 2-0 record, faces an SMB side that has won two of tis first three games in the PBA On Tour.
Meanwhile, TNT shoots for its first win when it tangles with Terrafirma in a battle of winless squads in the opening match at 5 p.m.
The Tropang Giga fell short in their debut game for the exhibition series, bowing to the NorthPort Batang Pier, 99-90 last week.
On the other hand, the Dyip dropped back-to-back games, a 119-82 spanking at the hands of COnverge, followed by a 100-94 loss to Blackwater.
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