Daegu's SJ Belangel looks forward to playing fellow Pinoys in Korea

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Daegu's SJ Belangel looks forward to playing fellow Pinoys in Korea
SJ Belangel.
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — SJ Belangel will have multiple match ups to anticipate when he begins his pro career in the Korean Basketball League (KBL).

After blazing the trail as the first Filipino import set to play in the league, Belangel will be seeing many familiar faces with the likes of compatriots RJ Abarrientos, Will Navarro, Rhenz Abando, Justin Gutang and Ethan Alvano also signing with Korean teams.

Knowing how daunting it can be to start a career in a different land, Belangel said being with his fellow Filipinos make him more optimistic.

"Sobrang excited ako nagkaloko lokohan na nga kami na everytime na bumisita kami sa iba’t ibang province sila manglilibre," said Belangel, who will play with the Daegu KOGAS Pegasus.

"Kunwari kay RJ nandoon ako, lilibre niya ako. 'Pag andoon siya sa akin, lilibre [ko siya]," he added.

Abarrientos will play for the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, while Gutang signed with Changwon LG. Alvano and Navarro are set to suit up for Wonju DB and Seoul Samsung. Abando, meanwhile, inked a deal with Anyang KGC.

But Belangel said that when it comes to their on court interactions, there will be no time for their friendship.

"At the same time even though ganun kami kapag nagkalaban laban kami walang kaibigan. Alam naman namin sa isa’t isa yun," said Belangel.

"We’re there to represent our country, we’re there to represent our new team. At the end of the day we’re still friends ganun naman kami kapag naglalaro kami we give our best," he continued.

Belangel flew to Korea on Friday. The former Ateneo guard told media on Thursday during the JG4 Manila Tour event by adidas Philippines that he will look to join his team as soon as possible in their preseason preparations.

The 2022-23 KBL season is set to unfurl in October.



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