Beau Belga bulked up for the season in preparation for tougher, harder matchups. And he was up to task at least in their season debut.
The former Philippine Christian U stalwart came through with 14 points and five rebounds, and nailed a big trey in their crucial run entering the homestretch as Rain or Shine smothered TNT KaTropa, 82-79, for a winning start in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome Friday night.
Sophomore pro Ed Daquiaog also drained a trey while Maverick Ahanmisi scored on a reversed layup in their key attack from a 68-all standoff, and the Elasto Painters rolled on for a winning start in the tourney where they finished eighth last year.
Belga, Chris Tiu, Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood paced the E-Painters with a combined output of 48 points as the E-Painters overcame the TNT squad which narrowly missed the Philippine Cup finals last year.
RAIN OR SHINE 82 – Belga 14, Tiu 12, Norwood 11, Almazan 11, Ahanmisi 9, Daquioag 8, Nambatac 5, Borboran 5, Trollano 4, Ponferada 3, Yap 0, Maiquez 0.
TALK N’ TEXT 79 – Castro 18, Pogoy 16, Semerad 13, Williams 11, Rosario 8, Reyes 7, Torres 4, Tautuaa 2, Tallo 0, Nuyles 0, Carey 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 43-37, 62-51, 82-79.