Udoy Belmonte’s Rise to Success after UST’s 1993 UAAP Men’s Basketball Championship

Former UST Growling Tiger captain, Rudolf “Udoy” Belmonte, made headlines once again after taking flight to be with his former teams. Belmonte met with his old basketball teammates from the Pampanga Dragons at a reunion held in San Fernando, Pampanga, following a separate gathering with the UST Growling Tigers in San Juan City.

The reunion with the former Pampanga Dragons players and coaches, including generous team manager Gil Cortez, was organized after 30 years. It was a night filled with memories and a trip down memory lane for players such as Ato Agustin, Long David, Norman Gonzales, Eric Gascon, and Lester Del Rosario.

Belmonte’s arrival at the reunion was a surprise to many, as he had traveled from the UST Growling Tigers’ gathering in San Juan City to be with his former MBA teammates in Pampanga. Despite the traffic and the Christmas rush, Belmonte made sure to prioritize spending time with his former teammates.

After his successful two seasons with the PBA’s San Miguel, Belmonte shifted his focus to work for Philippine Airlines. However, a strike in 1998 led to him being laid off, prompting him to return to basketball. He joined the MBA’s Batangas Blades, eventually finding success with the Pampanga Dragons.

Belmonte revealed that, despite his success in the MBA, his priority always remained with his employer. He had a gentleman’s agreement with his coaches and bosses at PAL that he would prioritize his job above basketball, and they were supportive of his dual commitments.

Overall, Belmonte’s dedication to his former teams and his ability to balance a successful career in basketball with a career outside the sport have solidified his legacy in the Philippine basketball community.

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