Rookie Mac Belo shines in PBA debut as Blackwater slips past Phoenix, 94-87

Rookie Mac Belo impressed in his PBA debut, delivering 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Blackwater Elite to a 94-87 victory over the Phoenix Fuel Masters in their Oppo PBA Philippine Cup campaign opener on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Belo, member of Gilas Pilipinas picked by Blackwater in the special draft, lived up to his billing as the league’s best freshman, showing no signs of rookie jitters. He even made a dagger jumper late in the game that ultimately sealed the win for Blackwater.

The former FEU standout hit seven out of his nine attempts from the field for an impressive 87 percent clip. He also dished two assists.

Intal scored 12 points, while rookie Gelo Alolino had a solid debut of 11 points. Willy Wilson had a double-double outing of 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Phoenix didn’t field in top rookie Matthew Wright who was suffering from stomach flu. –

The scores:

BLACKWATER 94 – Belo 17, Dela Cruz 12, Miranda 11, Ababou 9, Buenafe 8, Pinto 8, Forrester 7, Pascual 7, Sena 6, Aguilar 4, Banal 3, Cervantes 2

PHOENIX 87 – Enciso 25, Intal 12, Alolino 11, Wilson W. 10, Borboran 6, Caperal 6, Wilson J. 5, Baguio 4, Lanete 4, Torres 4, Hayes 0, Miranda 0, Javillonar 0

Quarterscores: 27-23, 45-43, 71-69, 94-87.