No final decision yet for Belangel despite offers from Korean teams

Ateneo guard SJ Belangel has yet to make a decision whether to play overseas or not amid reports of him taking his talent to Korea.

SJ Belangel of Ateneo (right) UAAP Media Bureau)

“I haven’t signed anything basta may proposed lang. Nagulat ako kasi it’s a big idea especially to the Ateneo community and everyone here in the Philippines,” said Belangel, who was one of the spectators watching the Converge and Rain or Shine showdown, in an interview with PBA reporters Sunday, June 5 at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 22-year-old combo guard said he was actually shocked when his teammates suddenly sent congratulatory messages upon seeing the report, first by the Tiebreaker Times.

Belangel candidly said he had just used the Big Dome’s wifi and was there to support former teammate and team captain Gian Mamuyac, who’s already part of the Elasto Painters.

“Actually nagulat ako. Nandito lang ako para manood ng mga fellow teammates ko then suddenly, naki-wifi lang ako sa arena, then ‘yong mga teammates ko nagsabi ‘congrats,’ added the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart. “‘Di ko nga alam ano nangyari. Nagsabi pa lang naman ako, propose propose pa lang.”

Belangel, as stated in the report, will be foregoing his two years in the UAAP to join the Korean Basketball League (KBL).

Team manager Epok Quimpo also confirmed the development in the report and later to the Manila Bulletin.

“It is with great regret that the Ateneo de Manila University men’s basketball team announces that SJ Belangel accepted an offer in Korea and will therefore forgo his last two playing years for the Blue Eagles,” said Quimpo, leaving the club unnamed.

Quimpo also expressed gratitude to Belangel, who posted averages of 9.86 points, 2.64 rebounds, 3.21 assists in the UAAP Season 84, for the contributions he made as an integral part of the Ateneo Basketball program not only in the seniors but also during his junior days.

During the ambush interview though, Belangel verified that the offers coming were mostly from Korean teams.

“Korean team. ‘Yong mga Japan [and] Taiwan pero nagr-reach out ‘yong mga Korean teams since malapit na rin ata ‘yong league nila. That’s why. ‘Yon pa lang as of the moment,” added the Bacolod native cager.

Still, Belangel is grateful for the opportunities and though nothing is final yet, he still needs more time to think after finishing his undergraduate studies in Ateneo.

“For me, I’m just enjoying na pumasa ako sa Ateneo, so nakapasa na. Then eto pumutok parang nawala ‘yong pagkasaya ko,” Belangel jested.

Turning serious, said he will be weighing the pros and cons before making a decision to turn professional. (With a report from Jonas Terrado)

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