Justine Baltazar to play for Hiroshima Dragonflies
The big man out of La Salle agreed to a one-year deal with the team seeing action in Division 1 of the Western Conference, SPIN.ph learned from highly placed sources.
Baltazar applied for the PBA draft but decided to withdraw his application last Thursday after his camp told league officials of a lucrative offer waiting for the 24-year-old cager from Pampanga in the B.League.
Another B.League ballclub was also eyeing the services of Baltazar, but was beaten to the draw by the Dragonflies.
The Dragonflies fell short of making the ongoing league playoffs.
The team previously had former Japanese national player Kenichi Sako, known as ‘Mr. Basketball’ during his playing years, as its first ever coach.
Among its notable players in the past include former Japanese national team members Yusuke Okada, Kosuke Takeuchi, and Daiji Yamada.
Baltazar, who was part of the season’s UAAP Mythical Team, reportedly also has a standing offer from the Korean Basketball League.
The B.League starts its 2022-23 season by October.
Aside from La Salle, the 6-foot-7 native of Pampanga played for Gilas Pilipinas under former coach Tab Baldwin during the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers last year and in the Belgrade Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Until his decision to withdraw from the draft, Baltazar is projected to be among the top three picks in this year's batch of rookies.
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.