MANILA, Philippines – Whether SJ Belangel will stay put at Ateneo or pursue a professional career overseas – possibly in the Korean Basketball League – is still up in the air.
Belangel said he has yet to sign with a team after news broke on Sunday, June 5, that he already bid the Blue Eagles goodbye to ink a deal with a KBL squad.
“I got surprised because my teammates were congratulating me and I did not know what for,” said Belangel, who caught wind of the news while watching the opening of the 47th PBA season at the Araneta Coliseum.
“I have not signed anything yet.”
Aside from the KBL, the Gilas Pilipinas guard said he also has offers from Japan and Taiwan.
However, the gutsy veteran admitted he has to assess whether going abroad is the best decision for his career, considering he still has two years left in the UAAP.
Belangel is expected to lead Ateneo next season after the Blue Eagles fell short in their four-peat bid following a heartbreaking finals defeat to the UP Fighting Maroons.
“These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. But it does not mean that when an opportunity presents itself, you immediately grab it. You need to consider the future and weigh the pros and cons.”
For now, Belangel said he is relishing his upcoming graduation as he passed his final exams at Ateneo.
“Soon enough, there will be a decision,” he said.
Whatever decision he makes, Belangel said playing for the Philippines is his No. 1 commitment as he is set for a national team return after being included in the latest pool.
Gilas Pilipinas will see action in the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers starting this June and the FIBA Asia Cup in July.
“If I get called up, that is the priority. Representing the country will always be the top priority.” – Rappler.com