The talk of the town these days is the actions that Beau Belga of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters made which resulted in the ejection of two (obviously Ginebra) diehard fans at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last Sunday.
Before I go on, allow me to reiterate that I am neither a Ginebra or Rain or Shine fan.
To recall, there were two incidents involving Belga. One was getting entangled with Ginebra star Mark Caguioa where he made an extra motion and another one which seems pretty questionable against pint-sized Eman Monfort.
While the entanglement was to be expected considering that emotions were high during the game, what I cannot understand is why Belga would go as far as picking on Monfort. Unless there were some video-edits made, that sequence showed Monfort flying out of bounds and sprawled on the floor.
What I don’t understand is why Belga had to “act” as if he was falling to the sidelines (which obviously he wasn’t) and then plant a UFC-type of an attack with his knee on an already fallen Monfort. Though there may have been prior events which got his ire, the thing is, why hit a player whose only fault is perhaps his peskiness to stay in the league and realize his career?
The Elasto Painters eventually won the match which went as far as seeing two spectators being booted out for reportedly hurling plastic bottles towards the way of Belga.
Given that Belga cherishes the role of playing villain, maybe someone should tell him to know his boundaries especially when it comes to the fans.
Ginebra fans are rowdy as you get but hurting co-players is not the way to try to fend it off. And most especially if it involves players who are perhaps 2 to three times lighter than his, this burly center may be off his hinges.
This instance is not the first time that Belga has been in such a situation. Being an enforcer, he has been the target of hecklers who dread him whenever he starts doing his extra-curricular activities on the court.
Is he trying to prove to everyone he is tough? Maybe. But you don’t have to pick on everyone, players and fans to do so. There have been a lot of players who have done that in the past like maybe Vic Sanchez, Rudy Distrito or Ricky Relosa. But for those legendary enforcers, there was a reason.
Monfort? The guy is simply quarterbacking and is not one of the main threats on the Gin Kings side so why pick on him?
I do recall that years ago, outgoing PBA commissioner Atty. Chito Salud mentioned that the league owes everything to the fans. But that doesn’t include rowdy fans who tend to get out of hand since they become too attached to the game and their team.
And while players can play with the crowd and their emotions, does it follow that a guy like Belga can go on and taunt them and flash the dirty-finger on an official night?
Belga is tough and loved by some, and his actions could be a psyche war of sorts. But hurting people and jostling fans, in my opinion is a pretty big risk.
To Belga, it is just all part of the game. However, outside you may want to think about yourself and your family. Playing with fans may get out of hand in the same way that Belga did with his physicality on the hardwood.
Remember that there are fans who may go over the top and go as far as following you outside the PBA playing court. You cannot undermine that fact and as one fan put it, remember what happened to Ali Peek who got shot at the back for some apparent reason.
Of course there was no evidence to conclude that it had something to do with his playing stint. Peek may be tough but he is not dirty. Belga? Well, maybe not but sometimes he does tend to twinkle-toe along the lines.
This isn’t personal but a friendly piece of advice to you Beau, be careful in playing with the fans. You never know the psychological capacity they are in and may just find yourself regretting in the end.
If you haven’t seen it yet, below is the video of that sequence.