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Justin Arana has a Lot to Learn in Dealing with PBA Bruisers

Nov 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – After facing Beau Belga for the second time in his career, Justin Arana admitted he still has a lot to learn about the physicality of the PBA.

Arana had 16 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks against Belga, one of the league’s most punishing enforcers, in Converge’s previous game against Rain or Shine.

Despite only scoring four points against Arana, Belga had eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

Despite his size, strength, and productivity on Sunday, Arana believes he still has a lot to learn about defeating the tough defense of the league’s Belgas.

“Siyempre, ako rin natutunan kay Kuya Beau, [of course I am glad at Beau]” Arana added. “Siya, sobrang ano na siya sa liga at especially sa pisikal, ang dami ko talagang natutunan sa kanya, [He is really good at this game and especially at his physical, you will know lots of things about him]” he says.

“Kaya Beau nga, kailangan ko ma-adopt ‘yung physicality sa PBA para tumagal rin ako, [to Beau, we need to adopt the physical strength at PBA for me to stay long]” Arana continued.

Belga, who scored the game-winning shot for Rain or Shine in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup opener, spoiled Arana’s PBA debut. Belga also had 17 points, outscoring Arana, who had only six.

In that same game, Belga compared Arana to six-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo because of his ability to play physically.

The Converge rookie claimed he tried to hold his ground in his second encounter with the Rain or Shine veteran while also attempting to learn from Belga.

“Bump, bump, ganun. Normal naman naman [it’s normal]. As always, it’s for my own good, so I’m not complaining. I’m up for a challenge. Beau Belga is always there, eh? “Na-challenge ako na bantayan si Kuya Beau, [I was challenged when I guard Beau]” Arana stated.

Meanwhile, is Tyler Tio worthy of a look from Gilas? Coach Topex has an opinion

Even though his shooting percentage has recently dropped, Phoenix rookie guard Tyler Tio remains a viable candidate for a spot in the Gilas Pilipinas training pool.

Tio has the endorsement of Fuel Masters coach Topex Robinson, who says his rookie is a very cerebral player who can provide the national team additional intangibles aside from his scoring.

“I believe he has the capacity to make it there,” said Robinson, who was Gilas’ deputy during coach Tab Baldwin’s tenure.

“But, again, he still has to show himself because, in order to represent the Philippines, you have to be the greatest of the best,” he said in a cameo appearance.

Despite being a second-round pick (no. 14) by Phoenix in the previous draft, calls for Tio to be included in the Gilas training pool grew during his strong debut with the team this season.

During the Philippine Cup, the Ateneo playmaker was the player with the highest shooting percentage from outside the arc, averaging a lofty 49 percent.

Tio’s numbers in the Commissioner’s Cup have recently dropped as low as 32%.

However, Robinson stated that this was to be expected considering that teams are now concerned about what the youngster could do.

“I think the scoring is going to be difficult because he’s now attracting the defense,” he said emphatically. “We already predicted that, and we informed Tyler to expect it.”

However, even when comparing Tio’s circumstances to that of former starter Matthew Wright, Robinson believes Tio’s total value remains high.

“Right now, he’s like Matthew. “Whether he scores or not, he’ll draw the defense,” claimed the 47-year-old coach.

However, even when comparing Tio’s circumstances to that of former starter Matthew Wright, Robinson believes Tio’s total value remains unchanged.

“Right now, he’s like Matthew. “Whether he scores or not, he’ll draw the defense,” said the 47-year-old coach.

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