A PLAYER’S CRAFT: NIC BELASCO

6”6, forward number 3 “St. Nic” Belasco. These are the words that came in to my mind when I met this nice giant. Believe me he is a giant, LOL. It was such an honor meeting him. I remember watching him when he was still playing with the San Miguel Beermen and the Alaska Aces and even when he played for Coca Cola Tigers and Talk and Text.

This guy is really a bad ass when he plays. He works hard for every rebound, loose balls, and every shot he took. He defended the best guys with no hesitation and challenged the biggest players you can think of.

For me, he was the most underrated player in the league because he was so talented and hardworking yet he sacrifices more than any one on the team. His hardwork earned him 8 championship titles, Mythical first team, Mythical 2nd team and PBA All Defensive Team.

Yes, he is that good, but you know what? He isn’t just good; he is a great guy. After meeting him last November 12 of this year, I learned a lot more than his accolades as a player. I have always thought that he is a nice guy because of how he acts off court. He seems to be nice guy and he really is. A very gentle person but also a very deep one because I learned that he also has a very noble advocacy. His wife, Mrs. Maria Rafaela “Mafae” Belasco was kind enough to help us with this interview.

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Nic Belasco is now a father to his five great and well­mannered kids. When asked about his parenting style, he shared that he is relaxed but strict. “I like to let the kids explore on their own but I really keep them out of danger. I let them do what they really want to do as long as it fits within good moral and good character behavior.”

Bonding time with the family is something he enjoys as well. According to him, he plays basketball with them. They eat, travel and watch movies together. “We don’t get to do it together, but when we do it it’s a lot of fun.” He also makes sure that he dates his wife. “Dinner dates, we don’t have it often but when we have the chance it is nice to be away from the kids and relax, have good food and sit down time together.”

We also asked if he and his family have any favorite travel destination. We learned that they are into beaches and pools. “Any beach, anywhere in the world or even a place with a nice pool, a place where we can have water and sun and good food and clean toilets.”

Things About Nic

Motto: Relentless pursuit

Most treasured object: My Wedding Ring

Hobbies: My hobby is to work, I came into a point of my life when I didn’t have work and right now my biggest hobby is finding work that is in line with my passions, also really hobbies don’t even seem to work anymore, it’s just what you want to do on your free time

Favorite Quote: You cannot control the waves, but you can learn how to surf

Pet peeves: Ignorance

Book: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Basketball books from successful coaches, I’ve read all Phil Jackson’s books, whatever their success is I just try to duplicate it

Movies: Remember the Titans

Mentors: Tim Cone, Norman Black, Jung Uichico, Chot Reyes, Ron Jacobs. I’ve seen them succeed. These are the guys. They really made me into the player that I am. They’re also making me into the coach that I am becoming because I take all their strengths and put them all together

Let’s learn about his advocacy.

BUSA  had been built to give people opportunities. My wife and I build this from the ground up for our children so that they can have high level training and a team and a program that is their own.

Most of our students don’t have a big school­ based team or their home school is Montessori School or International School so we provide them with that teamwork and camaraderie that they would get if they are in a regular school program. BUSA’s program is focus on providing opportunities for these students that they might not have.

Did you face any challenges in putting up BUSA (Belasco Unlimited Skill Academy)?

The challenge was finding a venue, finding a court. By that time I didn’t have anything else to do, I just finished my basketball career, I retired so I didn’t have an occupation. I started a company. I started the program from scratch so finding a home base was hard and then we got blessed with AlphaLand City in Makati Club which has been our home base for almost 2 years now, which really helped our program to grow. Now we’re expanding to Quezon City and we’re going to expand also on 2017 to the South, maybe Alabang. Those were the challenges. Finding students was never a challenge. Once people see how our teaching style and our coaching style, most of the parents are the ones who fall in love with us, as well as the kids. So, word of mouth made our program grow really fast.

How do you see the program after 5 years?

5 years from now I honestly see the company evolving into an International Skills Academy School. That’s my ultimate goal and I think I could reach that for the next 5 years.

Building an International School where your children can get their education, up to high level education, and all as well as their athletic training regardless of what sport they might have. I’m in the process of looking for a faculty now that I can slowly develop and grow into our own BUSA facility. Once we get that established, we can take it to the next level and adding a school aspect to it which is something that is not a style here in Asia. In the UK , in Australia, and in the United States they do these things, they have these types of schools and academies, and that’s where these athletes came from. But here in the Philippines, we don’t have that yet so I think there’s a big market for it, with all the expats and all the, Fil­ foreigners coming here, coming back to the Philippines, and having their own kids, I thought it’s a challenge where to put your kids in school. So BUSA provides an athletic facility which is also academic.

He would like to share a simple advice to us dreamers and achievers.

“Never give up. Showing up is pretty much 80 to 90% of success. If you don’t show up you have zero chance. So persistence and relentlessness, those are my favorite words and integrity. Once you have a passion for something, you have to be relentless in pursuing it. When relentless call, relentless pursuit and that actually worked many times with my professional career through the years, that has always been my mentality that’s why I’ve been pretty successful in everything I tried. I’ve seen it worked for some other people and I’ve seen people give up when they’re almost there and they lose their chance forever.”

Events that you would like to promote.

“With the same focus as how we run our Academy, to create opportunities for people, you could run a basketball program and try to get top level athletes and you know it’s gonna be one thing. But if you run a program and you take the average athletes that need attention, development, and coaching then the whole world is open because there are more average athletes than there are elite athletes. Our focus is really on average athletes and turning them into elite athletes which is different than a lot of coaches. A lot of coaches just want elite athletes so they don’t have to coach as much. I like to take the time, and develop players, as well as people.”

It was a great pleasure meeting Mr. Nic and so is his wonderful and kind family. It was really nice meeting a sports hero. Special thanks to Ms. Mafae for accommodating our request for an the interview with her, her husband, and their son. It really made it more special because of her help.

You can visit BUSA’s site for more updates about their events and advocacies at: https://belascounlimitedskillsacademy.wordpress.com/

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Lazada Philippines

About the Author

Rommel Co is a leader, sports advocate, and a loving husband and father to his wife and daughter. He loves listening to music and watching sports review.

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