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Belga makes history for Rain or Shine with triple-double in throwback game

MANILA, Philippines, April 4 ------ In a game where Rain or Shine brought back a little piece of its history, Beau Belga made one of his own. Belga became the first Elasto Painters local to notch a triple-double in franchise history as Rain or Shine mauled Converge, 110-90, for back-to-back wins in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. 


Doing it all for an Elasto Painters side seeking to turn things around after a 0-4 start to the conference, Belga finished with a career-high 25 points, 12 rebounds, and a career-high-tying 10 assists. His stellar performance came in the same game Rain or Shine donned throwback jerseys of the Welcoat Dragons, the name the franchise used when it joined the PBA in 2006 after its success in the Philippine Basketball League. “We wanted to win wearing this jersey. We tried our best to get the win,” said Belga. 


On triple-double alert with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists through the first three quarters, Belga achieved the feat when he located Andrei Caracut for a triple that gave the Elasto Painters a comfortable 87-67 cushion. According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, the 37-year-old forward became the oldest player to net a triple-double since legend Ramon Fernandez – then 38 years old – accomplished one for San Miguel in 1992. “When you get older, you also get smarter,” said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao, drawing out a smile from Belga. “I think he has rounded out his game very well. He has offense and he has rebounding.” 


Santi Santillan backstopped Belga with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, Shaun Ildefonso put up a career-high 15 points, while Caracut dished out a career-high 13 assists to go with 15 points. Gian Mamuyac added 10 points for the Elasto Painters, who recorded their most lopsided win in the Philippine Cup since they cruised to a 103-80 rout of Blackwater in a playoff for the last quarterfinal berth in 2017. The game also marked the first time Rain or Shine rookie Sherwin Concepcion scored this season after he sank a three-pointer late that gave his side its biggest lead at 110-86. 


Justin Arana delivered 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, but his solid numbers went down the drain anew as the FiberXers remained winless in six games. Unable to recover after finishing at the bottom last conference, Converge has lost by at least 20 points for three straight matches. 


The Scores 

Rain or Shine 110 – Belga 25, Santillan 23, Caracut 15, Ildefonso 15, Mamuyac 10, Demusis 6, Borboran 4, Clarito 4, Concepcion 3, Asistio 3, Norwood 2, Belga 0, Paredes 0. 

Converge 90 – Arana 20, Winston 14, Stockton 13, Santos 12, Delos Santos 7, Caralipio 7, Melecio 7, Zzaldivar 3, Balanza 3, Nieto 1, Ambohot 0, Maagdenberg 0, Fleming 0, Fornilos 0. 

Quarters: 24-24, 52-47, 75-63, 110-90. 



Editor's Note: 

With top Meralco scorers Allein Maliksi and Chris Newsome struggling, the rest of the Bolts played their roles to the hilt. Bong Quinto took over down the stretch as Meralco posted back-to-back wins in the PBA Philippine Cup after scraping past stubborn Terrafirma, 86-83, Juami Tiongson paced the Dyip with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds on top of 6 assists, while Holt churned out 20 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. Despite a pair of solid outings from its top guards, Terrafirma shot itself in the foot with turnovers and poor rebounding late as it fell to 3-3. 


The Scores 

Meralco 86 – Quinto 18, Torres 15, Almazan 14, Black 7, Mendoza 7, Newsome 7, Banchero 6, Maliksi 6, Hodge 4, Pascual 2, Jose 0, Rios 0. 

Terrafirma 83 – Tiongson 20, Holt 20, Gomez de Liano 11, Ramos 11, Sangalang 6, Go 4, Camson 4, Carino 4, Cahilig 3, Mina 0, Calvo 0, Alolino 0. 

Quarters: 19-25, 39-46, 63-65, 86-83. 




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