(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Belo admits fault after costly turnover, bad decision in loss against Magnolia
As painful as it is for his fans to hear, Mac Belo has yet to live up to his potentials after being picked as the top pick by the Blackwater Elite back in the 2015 PBA Draft. While part of that disappointment was due to the fact that his PBA career has been mired by numerous injuries which hampered his development, that delay in his development has been catching up on him as Belo continues to struggle with his game. And that includes making the right decision with the basketball especially during clutch situations.
After beating the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, the Blackwater Elite have been on a 4-game losing streak and even though they managed to erase an 18-point deficit against the Magnolia Hotshots, late-game lapses have caused them the chance to upset the league-leading Hotshots as Ian Sangalang and company went on to win, 78-72 to improve to 6-1.
As humble as he is ever since his playing years in the UAAP, Mac Belo took responsibility for his late-game lapses which included a costly turnover right after Magnolia took a 2-point lead when Belo was trapped by Sangalang at midcourt. Thinking Sangalang was going to be called for a foul, Belo tried to create some space but was called for a backcourt violation. And that wasn't the last one. After a Magnolia turnover, Belo was open for a lay-up but opted to pass the ball to John Pinto who missed the shot and Magnolia went on to ice the game via the free throw line.
Mac Belo may have led the Elite with 25 points- 14 in the fourth quarter alone but it was all for nothing as Blackwater absorbed another disappointing defeat. He may have 6 rebounds and 6 steals but Belo needs to calm down especially during the crucial stretch of the game.
At 2-5, the Elite have to move quickly if they intend to make the playoffs this conference. And as humble as Mac Belo is, admitting his faults is a good sign for a basketball player but to learn from those lapses and limit the tendency of repeating those lapses in the future, now that's where the hard work is, right? But that's what great players do. They learn from those mistakes and use them to become a better player. Scoring 25 points or more is easy but leading his team to victory, that's a lot of work. And Mac Belo still has a long way to go before his name could be included in the list of elite players in the PBA.