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ROS’ Belga out with injury

By Jonas Terrado

Beau Belga will miss the remainder of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations with an injured foot, leaving the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters without another key player as they try to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive.

Belga got hurt Friday when the Elasto Painters fell to the Columbian Dyip, 100-84, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City and was due to play the role of cheerleader for the second straight game against the Phoenix Fuel Masters last night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Rain or Shine was looking to improve its 2-6 slate against Phoenix at the Pasay City venue.

The injury came in an untimely manner for Rain or Shine, which suspended center Raymond Almazan due to his repeated absences in the past six games.

Almazan apologized to Rain or Shine management led by co-owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que after a meeting was held last Monday.

“Kung kailan wala si Raymond, kailangan ka ng team, na-injury pa,” Belga said after Rain or Shine’s 101-92 loss to Meralco at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last Sunday.

Belga didn’t rule out the possibility of returning in the playoffs, if Rain or Shine goes on a late surge with three games remaining in the eliminations.

That stretch began at presstime against Phoenix, which entering that match tied with Blackwater for fourth at 6-3.

The bruising big man has been one of the top performers amid Rain or Shine’s struggles in the season-ending conference, averaging 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in seven games.

Coach Caloy Garcia hopes to bank on Jewel Ponferada and Norbert Torres, who put up 16 points against Meralco, as the Elasto Painters look to stay alive.

“It’s about stepping up. Maybe guys like (Dexter) Maiquez could be given a chance to step up,” said Garcia.