The 2018 PBA All-Star week is going to be an entirely different experience for Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga.
The burly center will be among the 12 participants seeing action in the Obstacle Challenge side event of the meet, which goes novelty this season by featuring some of the league’s big men racing against time while showing their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.
Belga admitted not having done in his entire career the skills challenge which is more fitted for smaller players.
“Never, hindi pa. Kaya nagulat nga ako na ganu’n ‘yung format nila ngayon,” he said about one of the special side events to be staged during the second leg of the All-Star extravaganza in Batangas City on May 25.
“Siguro para maiba lang, makikita mo ‘yung mga big men na nagdi-dribble, pumapasa, nagko court-to-court. Kaya tingin ko magiging masaya itong All-Star,” he said.
Apart from Belga, also entered in the event are Kelly Nabong (GlobalPort), Raymond Aguilar (Barangay Ginebra), Sonny Thoss (Alaska), JP Erram (Blackwater), Russell Escoto (Columbian Dyip), Ken Bono (Meralco), Justin Chua (Phoenix), Aldrech Ramos (Magnolia), Yancy de Ocampo (San Miguel), Yousef Taha (TnT Katropa), and former MVP Asi Taulava (NLEX).
“Marunong naman akong mamasa, pero dribbling na zigzag, never ko pa na-try,” said Belga. “Nakaka-pagdala ako ng bola ng straight lang, pero zigzag hindi pa.”
The three-leg yearly spectacle has Phoenix Fuel with Phoenix Pulse Technology as major sponsor and backed by Peak Sports Apparel, Rain or Shine, Gatorade, TAGHeuer, PBA RUSH-Cignal, Nature’s Spring and Molten.
Belga is having second thoughts on whether he’ll practice for the event or not.
“Kasi baka pag nag practice ka naman ng nag-practice, baka lalo ka lang maging stiff (sa competition). So bahala na kung ano ang kalagyan,” he said.
The innovation adopted this year is for the fans to further enjoy the All-Star show which is what the mid-season classic is all about.
“Ang akin lang naman ‘yung mapasaya ang fans ng PBA,” he said. “Para sa fans ‘yung All-star weekend and para sa kanila gagawin namin yun.”
Aside from the Obstacle course, regular fare such as the Slam Dunk contest and the Three-Point shootout are part of the All-Star side events.
The All-Star week kicks off on May 23 in Digos, Davao del Sur pitting the men’s national team against the PBA Mindanao selection, before it proceeds to Batangas for the second leg that will see the Philippine team this time going up against an All-Star selection representing Luzon.
The final phase then goes to Iloilo on May 27 for the game between the Visayas selection opposite the national squad.