Late-bloomer’ Beau Belga opens up on PCU, volleyball, intrams and road to pro ball

Rain or Shine and Gilas Pilipinas forward Beau Belga will always be remembered by Pinoy basketball fans for his service to country and on-court antics, aside from his burly 6-6 frame.

But what many people do not know is that Belga didn’t start basketball early; in fact, when he was in high school, the 33-year-old veteran was even playing volleyball.

In an online video conference interview with Sports on Air, Belga said he didn’t start playing basketball until he was 13 years old.

“Yung mga tito ko mahilig sa basketball,” he said. “Nag-start. Barangay barangay lang.”

But the Sorsogon native bared he was not even a member of a competitive varsity team until he was in college.

“Yung laro ko noon basic lang … intrams lang,” said Belga, who added he wouldn’t even get to zone or district meets.

It was until Belga was discovered by one of Philippine Christian University’s swimming coaches when the hoopster moved to Laguna.

Seeing that he is tall and can play ball while still in 3rd year high school, the coach offered an opportunity for Belga to join the PCU Dolphins as a basketball player when he graduated from high school.

Belga humbly said he only knows the basics of the sport.

“Doon nag-umpisa lahat,” recalled Belga.

From that point, Belga was able to team up with the likes of Jayson Castro, Gabby Espinas, and Rob Sanz and play in the NCAA.

Years later, Belga would enter the PBA, and even make Gilas Pilipinas where he would participate in various tournaments like the Asian Games.

It’s quite surprising that Belga didn’t really begin playing basketball until he was a teenager, but he certainly is able to turn himself into a once-in-a-generation athlete.