PBA legend gives Beau Belga some friendly advice

Ricky Brown (copyright ODL)
Ricky Brown (copyright ODL)

A couple of days ago, we did post something here regarding the ridiculous and bullying antics of Rain or Shine Elasto Painter Beau Belga.

The behemoth center was hit by fans for picking on the smaller players of the Ginebra Kings, Mark Caguioa and Eman Monfort. But what drew the ire of fans was his behavior, giving a dirty finger gesture to fans and taunting everyone after his team won.

In that last article, we did hope that PBA commissioner Atty. Angelico ‘Chito’ Salud would look into the matter since he did emphasize before that the fans are the blood of the league. And so he did.

In the end, the PBA top brass fined Belga and his teammate Raymond Almazan for their behavior after that game. Belga drew a P70,000 fine in total for multiple Flagrant F1 infractions plus his disrespectful antics. Almazan was penalized for P40,000.00. However no suspension was meted to either player.

A third player from the Ginebra side was fined as well. This was Dorian Pena for committing a Flagrant Foul penalty one on Alamazan.

And it seemed that the antics of Belga went viral and reached the global stage. And that included former PBA players.

Among them was PBA great Ricardo Brown who did not hide his displeasure on Belga’s actions.

From his Facebook post:

Who is this guy? Are you kidding me? Who’s the Rain or Shine Coach? Do you think for a second I would allow this BS if I were his Coach or Team Manager? Good Lord. Why wasn’t he yanked and sent to the locker room? That’s on the Coach, in my book.

Is this what the PBA has come to? Is this what the PBA fans want to see today? I’ve got news for you. This is NOT basketball at a high level and is an embarrassment to Philippine basketball. Disgraceful.

That post came before PBA Commissioner Chito Salud handed out the fines and reprimanded Belga and Almazan for their actions.

Belga and Almazan did issue apologies, explaining that “they weren’t aware” of the value of the fans to the league.

That reasoning could pass for Almazan, but for Belga who has been into similar situations in the past well, his reasoning was somehow out of sync.

He did apologize via CNN Philippines but from our perspective, it seemed that there was a lack of sincerity in his tone and that he seemed to be standing pat on his hooliganism.

Well, the verdict on whether he was indeed remorseful or not should be seen in the next game of the Elasto Painters. From there, you be the judge but honestly, this doesn’t look like it would be the last we would see of Belga’s roughhousing antics.

Just the same, Belga could do well to heed the advice of Mr. Ricardo Brown. Here is another post he made on Facebook which other players may want to affix in their minds.

I would imagine the last few days have been difficult for Beau Belga, and especially for his family members. I stand by what I said initially when I was critical of his actions directed at the Ginebra fans, and I believe the Commissioner’s office, allowed him to get off easy. Nonetheless, what’s done is done and the important piece is to move on. What ‘moving on’ looks like is in the hands of Mr. Belga.

Beau’s actions stung me because it was hurtful to see ‘one of my own’, a basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association, act such a fool on center stage for all to see. Beau’s behavior was not only a slap in the face to fans in attendance at the game and watching at home, but also to all players and coaches who ever wore a PBA uniform. After viewing the video, several friends who know about the PBA and my career in the league asked me, “Really? This is the professional league you played in?” We all took a hit… not just Beau Belga.

Today, I’m pleased to see Beau man up and be accountable. Whether you believe his apology on CNN Philippines was sincere or not, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and commend him for taking the first step to earning back the respect and admiration from fans that most PBA players enjoy and appreciate. Now, the ‘money’ will be on his actions from now on every time he crosses the black lines. If he handles this correctly, I believe he can do a great thing for the PBA, as well as for the young kids who idolize all PBA players.

2 pieces of advice from me to you, Beau:
1. flush that ‘bad boy villain’ BS down the toilet because YOU have talent to play the game the right way. Those fans who ‘admire’ that dirty, roughrider style of play are not real basketball fans. I loved playing a physical game, banging bodies… loved it! But there is a big difference from being a physical player and a dirty player, and you know that. The real and genuine Filipino basketball fans want to be entertained with skillful, high-level, competitive basketball. Nothing more is needed.

2. when the fans insult you and your family, do exactly what I did when I played in the PBA, particularly during my Rookie year when I constantly heard the very hurtful, “Brown Go Home! You’re not a Filipino! Puntang ina mo!” Respond back not with words or gestures, but simply respond back with high-level play on the court. Don’t acknowledge these insults, don’t even make eye contact with those trying to mess with your head… just gain inspiration and energy from them to perform even better. There is no greater feeling than to play and produce at a high level amidst all the personal insults and recognize the ‘SILENCE’ you’ve created in the arena.

I don’t like what you did, Beau. But let’s move forward now. I’m pulling for you. If you turn this around, you will do something very special. And if you do that, I look forward to meeting you one day and will tell you how proud I am of you. Make it happen, #30.

Choice wise words from someone who has achieved so much in the league. If Mr. Belga is committed to change, it would be wise to listen to a PBA great who has experienced it all. No physicality or jawing, just pure wits!

*revised. sorry it was supposed to be Atty. Angelico Salud. Apologies