THE 'Extra Rice' tag will forever be affiliated with big man Beau Belga.
But truth of the matter is, the veteran Rain or Shine player continued to shed weight the past two seasons and is expected to show up in absolute condition for the coming PBA Philippine Cup.
Belga said in the weekly sports program The Chasedown he's currently maintaining his playing weight at 260 pounds in order to keep pace with the young core of the Elasto Painters under new coach Chris Gavina.
The 34-year-old native of Gubat, Sorsogon admitted only a few veterans are now left with the team, including him, Gabe Norwood, Mark Borboran, and two-time MVP James Yap, that they really need to be in good condition in order to be a good example to their young teammates.
"Halos taon-taon may mga bata, e. Siyempre kapag napag-iwanan ka, mabilis na matatapos yung career mo sa PBA," said Belga.
"And sa PBA, the more na healthy ka, the more na kundisyon ka, mas magtatagal ka. Yun lang ang iniisip ko. Siyempre trabaho ito. Gustong kong mas tumagal pa."
Despite losing weight, the Rain or Shine stalwart said he follows no special diet.
He still eats what he wants, but makes sure he burns most of them through extra workouts and training sessions.
"Kinakain ko kung ano yung gusto ko. Pero at the same time, kailangan kong i-gym, kailangan kong i-workout para hindi ako tumaba, hindi ako bumigat kasi may career akong inaalagaan," Belga said.
And while he's no longer as burly as he was during the time he and former Rain or Shine frontcourt partner JR Quinahan were dubbed as 'Extra Rice Inc.' Belga expects the moniker to stick around with him for the rest of his playing career.
"Meron pa rin yun. Hindi na yun mawawala," he said. "Doon na tayo nakilala, e." (RG)