December 02, 2023

Rookie Keith Datu gets welcome-to-the-PBA bumps, tips from Rain or Shine veteran big

Rookie Keith Datu gets welcome-to-the-PBA bumps, tips from Rain or Shine veteran big

Among the 70 or so rookies selected in Sunday’s 2023 PBA Draft, big man Keith Datu arguably got drafted into the perfect situation—or at least something close to it—as one of the newest members of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

After all, Datu will be playing for Yeng Guiao, who had previously said he wanted bigs all along in this draft. And he just happens to be pretty good at developing big men, molding guys like JR Quiñahan and Beau Belga into bruising yet well-rounded bigs who can bang inside and bomb away from the outside.

Datu will also be playing alongside Belga, which is in itself a win already for the lanky big man because he won’t have to face Big Beau in actual games—and potentially get some hard hits and a few after-the-whistle chops.

Then again, it appears the former PCU Dolphin spares no one—not even teammates—from the bumping and the hits.

Just ask Datu, who told One Sports’ The Game on Monday that he has some bumps already from Belga right at his very first Rain or Shine practice.

The rookie, though, is taking the hits in stride because, apparently, Big Beau has already taken him under his wing.

“He’s very open, and he’s showing his leadership by talking to me on the court, showing me how this team operates,” Datu said of the longtime Elasto Painter

Belga is even dispensing valuable pieces of advice to the 6-foot-8 rookie already.  

“Just make sure we master our sets and the things that we do every single day,” Datu said of the tips Belga has given him so far.

Of course, Belga has also warned Datu of the storm that is Yeng Guiao, apparently telling the young big that he will “hear from Coach Yeng” sooner or later.

Datu, though, is ready for it all and is prepared to put in the work needed to do things the Rain or Shine way—or else witness the wrath of Coach Yeng directed right him.