Mac Belo wants to be known as a winner. And he may just have gotten closer to realizing that wish after being shipped to Meralco.
“My dream is to become a champion in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). I’ve been here for four years. Everyone here wants to be a champion. I think with this Meralco team, I have a greater chance of reaching that dream into a reality,” Belo said in former PBA chief Noli Eala’s radio show on Saturday.
“And I haven’t experienced playing in the semifinals and the finals,” the soft-spoken forward, who won a title at Far Eastern University, said. “It’s in those stages players get to showcase their talents—when everything’s under pressure.”
At Blackwater, Belo made the playoffs only thrice—and was promptly eliminated in the quarterfinals in all tries.
The Elite dealt away Belo to the Bolts for playmaker Baser Amer and veteran bruiser Bryan Faundo on Thursday, giving Meralco a two-way big man who can operate in the post and shoot the basketball well from outside—and Belo a chance at a title.
Meralco pushed Barangay Ginebra to the brink in the semifinals of the Philippine Cup last year before losing to the eventual champions via a Game 5 dagger triple from Scottie Thompson.
Meralco coach Norman Black said in a press statement that he hopes to use the former Gilas trooper to plug the Bolts’ holes on its frontcourt, which is currently manned by Raymond Almazan and Noy Baclao.
Belo’s arrival not only gives an added boost in its interior, but also an additional cog in its defensive machine.
“Perhaps, what I can bring to the team, is my being a two-way player,” Belo said when asked why he thinks Meralco traded for him. “I can defend any position.”
Meralco also hopes to get lucky in the coming Rookie Draft, which is said to be one of the deepest in league history.
“We’re hoping to get a really good player,” Black then added. “It looks like it’s going to be a deep draft this year since they lifted some of the requirements.”
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