JAKARTA — Five years ago, Beau Belga was one among those prospects to make the Gilas Pilipinas squad competing in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.
Considered as one of the most feared enforcers, a player of Belga’s character is somewhat needed in the national squad then vying for a spot for the World Cup.
He trained along with the other hopefuls and was one spot away from cracking the roster. In the end, head coach Chot Reyes had to choose Japeth Aguilar, a 6-foot-9 athletic forward over the burly and highly-physical Belga for the 12th spot.
“Nung time namin kasi you have to choose between me and Japeth, so you will choose Japeth. Tanggap ko yun,” Belga told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview.
Fast forward 2018, Belga saw a window of opportunity playing for flag and country following an unfortunate incident that happened during the Philippines’ game against the visiting Australians in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifier to the World Cup match.
That paved the way for the entry of Rain or Shine, which was tasked to put up the core of the team that is currently playing in the basketball competitions of the Asian Games here.
Belga is one among the six players plucked from the Elasto Painters and reunited with their old coach, Yeng Guiao.
“Sobrang honored. They chose me as one of the guys na magri-represent sa bansa mo,” added Belga.
In the Asiad, Belga brings toughness up front, a trademark which Guiao wants to see from his team and he didn’t disappoint. The burly frontliner knows what was expected by his long-time coach.
“Itong team na ito, more physical, lalaban ito. Kahit sabihin mo na kulang sa oras, wala kulang sa oras kapag national team pinag-uusapan,” said Belga. “Kilala ko si Coach. Kapag hindi ka palaban, you will sit down and watch the game.”
Image from Beau Belga’s Instagram