Dammam, Saudi Arabia – “I had a simple dream when I was still a child. I didn’t even dream of going to another country. My first priority in life is to provide a comfortable life for my family.”
He came and conquered both fans and players in the Eastern Province Basketball League’s (EPBL) on-going tournament with his unorthodox but effective moves. Watching him play on the hard court is like watching a professional league player shows off with attitude.
I am referring the accolade to Al-Majdouie team’s jersey #3, Joy Belmonte. Since the start of the 2009 EPBL-GMA Cup, he demonstrated extreme competitiveness against old and new players alike.
“My team (Al-Majdouie) deserves the best from all its players and I am more than happy to answer the call,” he said in an ambush interview. “I am proud of being part of Al-Majdouie team. Playing with the rest of the players has helped me overcome homesickness,” he explained.
Being new in the Kingdom, Belmonte was asked to compare playing basketball in Saudi Arabia vis-à-vis the Philippines, he said that it is not only about playing basketball and winning games that count, it’s also about considering the environment, as well as the contribution to the team and the company that hired me.
Belmonte hails from Sorsogon City, Philippines. He was a varsity player in his alma mater – Sorsogon State College. His favorite team in the Philippine Basketball Associate is Purefoods, wherein his idol James Yap plays. Dwayne Wade of Miami Heat and Alen Iverson of 76ers are his favorites in NBA.
Belmonte is a shooting guard who already made a deep-seated impression at the 2001 Inter-Barangay and Selection Sorsogon Meet in his hometown where he became the MVP.
Belmonte is sharp shooter on the perimeter area and a fast player who puts up a good defense as well. But his ability to score points, most significantly with his fearless drives to the basket, is what’s truly mesmerizing.
Belmonte was considered a good prospect since his college days, when he routinely piled up points for his team (Sorsogon State College) in the Inter-commercial games in Sorsogon City. He soon earned a reputation as a deadly gunner in the 2007 EPBL Unity Cup.
When his team joined the EPBL, the former Sorsogon State University star turned out to be his opponent’s worse nightmare. It wasn’t what the opponent expected of him: a so-so player. It turned out, he is the opposite. He also showed the ability to dominate the boards while his unorthodox moves baffled defenders at no end.
According to Belmonte, whatever task is assigned to him, he always makes sure that he has enough contribution and accomplishment to the job as he truly values the trust given to him. He said that it was basketball that literally financed most of his expenses in school and it was basketball that allowed him to meet new good friends at home and abroad.
Belmonte’s first year of working abroad is unremarkable by his standard, but he is not closing his door for better opportunities that would come knocking which are all for his family’s sake.
Source: Romeo Navidad