March 15, 2015
Beau’s Beastly Beatitudes
Meet Beau Belga.
A rugged, sometimes dirty, no-nonsense hefty big man of Rain or Shine. Tough freaking guy, this Belga. If banging bodies, or dishing out bone-crunching fouls or flagrant fouls even are considered a crime, Belga would have been in executioner’s row right now ready for the hanging. Or you could say if the PBA will send an all-star team to the Royal Rumble, Belga will be team captain for sure.
Belga cemented his status as the most hated player in the planet even further after his altercation with players and fans alike of Barangay Ginebra, the most popular team on this poor, Mamasapano-like side of the universe. What makes people hate Belga more is that he is winning and almost always seems to have the last laugh.
Just like Sunday when his Painters did a Ginebra on Ginebra by showing the never-say-die spirit it was known for and Ginebra lacks and stealing an 82-79 win after trailing by as much as 18 points. After the win, Belga taunted Kings fans with a victory dance at midcourt. Ouch.
Why is Belga being the player he is now?
To understand the man, you got to go deeper into his past.
Rewind to 2002.
You would not believe me if I tell you Belga is not as bruising as he is today. Playing as a third, fourth string big man of Philippine Christian University, Belga was a lanky, reed-thin center who looks fragile enough that you could probably break his every bone by just sneezing in front of him. I remember him getting minutes in garbage time. In fairness to the guy, he has this feathery touch from the outside and can dunk. He was too thin though to bang bodies with bulky front court players.
Until his then PCU coach Ato Tolentino decided to transform him into a massive fighting machine with a steady diet of 10 cheese burgers (Yes, 10!) a seating. He kept the routine until the time came when he morphed into the starting center of the Dolphin, who eventually won a championship in 2004 after teaming up with no less than The Blur himself, Jayson Castro and Gabby Espinas.
Rewind about a decade further and you will see a kid, the oldest among three, born and raised in Gubat, Sorsogon in a family whose main source of living was the meager money his father earned as a driver. To help his family, he helps his grandmother sell balut. He eventually finish high school in Sorsogon through sheer hardwork and determination.
And then the bullying came.
Mercifully, his escape was basketball. And then he found his way to PCU where he became the person and player that he is. He made sure no one person from this Earth bully him since then. Not even legions of legions of Ginebra fans, including some classless acts like the two who threw Belga a bottle.
Now back to the present and we have a Belga that almost except Rain or Shine hates.
Unlike the slam dunking Air Ellis, Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, Belga couldn’t jump that much. His elevation ability consists of jumping on three cans of sardines. What athleticism the guy lacks, he makes up for it with toughness. And some bravado. He probably eats nails for breakfast and shards of glass for desserts. He could probably devour the two numb nuts who threw debris on him in one bite.
Ironically, Belga is what Ginebra thoroughly lacks. And needs. He is so tough he was the last man cut in the Gilas Pilipinas team under Chot Reyes. He is never-say-die spirit personified. Imagine if he’s wearing a Ginebra uniform and continues to do what he is doing against foes? He could probably run for president and win it landslide.
For now, Belga gets the boos. He is Ginebra’s villain. Funny thing though, he gets the win. And that is more than enough for Belga.
Ginebra is my religion.
Belga sends us his regards. And the middle finger.
(Photos courtesy of Spin. ph and Gider)