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Belga steps up for Rain or Shine with 1st career triple-double

MANILA, Philippines -- With injuries to rookie big men Keith Datu and Luis Villegas, Beau Belga continues to be the anchor in the middle for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the PBA Philippine Cup.

And on Wednesday against the Converge FiberXers, Belga showcased his skills with his first career triple-double.

The hulking 37-year-old big man scattered 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a blowout 110-90 win over the FiberXers.

Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao lauded Belga's play, saying that with old age comes higher basketball IQ.

"As you grow older, you play smarter. I think he's rounded out his game really well. He has good offensive and rebounding skills," Guiao told reporters in Filipino.

"I think the absence of Keith is a big thing, so he really needed to go double time and he's doing that for the team," he added.

Belga, who played almost 37 minutes said that he just needed to step up for the depleted squad.

"I needed to [fill] the place left by Keith. I needed to go double time, need to step up a little bit more, and with the help of my teammates, it gets easier," he said.

He underscored that he did not chase the triple double, and instead, let the game go to him.

"I'm not really aware of the triple-doubles. There were times that I almost had it. But I am not chasing it," the big man stressed.

"They were telling me a while ago that I only needed one more assist. I told them I'll try. If I don't get it, it's fine," he added.

It was a needed win for the Elasto Painters, who were donning retro Welcoat Dragons jerseys, as it gave them their second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup.

"For us, we really wanted to win wearing this jersey. We really pushed hard tonight to get the win."

The Elasto Painters will try to win their third straight when they face the Blackwater Bossing on Saturday, 3 p.m., at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.