RAIN OR SHINE ELASTOPAINTERS
#30 / 6'5'' / F
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
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Early life Belga was born and raised in Gubat, Sorsogon and is the eldest among the three siblings. His father was a family driver while his mother was a housewife. At a young age, he helped his grandmother sell balut, penoy, and other goods. He finished his high school education in Sorsogon. As a kid, he was very thin and was often bullied; as a way of escape, he focused his attention on basketball. College career He decided to go to Manila and study at Philippine Christian University. He was recruited to play for the PCU Dolphins by the school's swimming coach while he was playing billiards with his friends. While at PCU, he, along with future PBA stars Gabby Espinas and Jayson Castro, helped the team win its first ever NCAA title against host school University of Perpetual Help in 2004. Professional career He was the seventh overall draft pick by Purefoods in 2008 before being traded to Burger King. He found his niche as a basketball player while playing for coach Yeng Guiao's Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, where he was known as one of the league's toughest players. While with Rain or Shine, he also became teammates with J.R. Quiñahan, and together they formed a duo in the low block, called the Extra Rice, Inc., owing to their weight and huge appetite. International career In 2013, Belga was added to the Gilas Pilipinas training pool that competed in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, and was considered the "13th man", since he was the last man cut from the 12-man national team roster. In 2014, he was included in the Gilas roster that will play for the upcoming 2014 FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China, 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, and 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.