GILAS Pilipinas cadet member Justin Melton has joined the Westports Malaysia Dragons of the Asean Basketball League where his athleticism is expected to come to the fore.
Malaysia head coach Ariel Vanguardia confirmed that Melton has been signed up by the ABL side just in time to be available for their match against the San Miguel Beermen on Saturday.
“We played him in a scrimmage game in Manila last December when he was with Gilas,” said Vanguardia.
Born in Angeles City but raised in the United States, the 25-year-old Melton recently went home after playing college ball in the US in the hope of landing a spot with the national team.
Melton became part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that played in a tournament in Dubai and won the Super Kung Sheung Cup crown in Hong Kong, but he was not named to the 17-man Gilas pool for the Fiba-Asia championships.
Vanguardia expects the 5-foot-11 Melton to be a spark for the Dragons much like Filipino point guard Rudy Lingganay, who for many years was the Malaysian squad's court general.
“We needed that quickness and athletic ability. I think he is a good fit for us,” said Vanguardia.
Melton, born to a Filipina mother, Cecilia Fortes, and an American military man in Donnie Melton, played US NCAA Division II basketball for Mount Olive College in North Carolina.
He also played as an import in Brazil in 2009.