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    Justine Baltazar focuses on the present as pro leagues beckon

    May 4, 2022
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    Justine Baltazar and the Archers aren't ready to exit Season 84.
    PHOTO: UAAP

    NOT only was La Salle fighting for its life, Justine Baltazar was playing what could have been his final UAAP game.

    The Kapampangan forward said he just gave it all.

    See UAAP Final Four: La Salle brings down UP Maroons, forces sudden-death

    "Yun nga sabi ni coach, wala ng bukas ito eh. Talagang bigay na namin talaga yung best namin," he said.

    Baltazar took that challenge to heart and spearheaded the Green Archers in their 83-80 win over University of the Philippines to stay alive in the UAAP Season 84 Final Four.

    The 6-foot-7 forward fired 11 of his 15 points in the first half to keep La Salle afloat before Evan Nelle took charge late and forced this semifinal series to a do-or-die game on Friday.

    "Last year ko na rin eh, so kailangan talaga sa amin talaga mag-start," said Baltazar, who also grabbed 18 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

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    "Kailangan maganda laro namin dito para yung mga rookie talaga dito, mag-step up. So pinagtrabahuhan lang naman talaga namin at hanggang dulo, walang bumitaw talaga."

    Justin Baltazar and the De La Salle Green Archers flexed their muscles against the UP Maroons.Justine Baltazar and the Green Archers remain in the hunt.

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    Baltazar's future remains uncertain with offers overseas or a possible entry to the PBA Draft looming.

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    But for now, he chooses to focus on the present.

    "Sobrang thankful talaga ako sa mga coaches kasi pinagtrabahuhan talaga nila ito. Naging maganda yung resulta para sa amin," he said, with La Salle meeting UP once more on Friday.

    And with the game pushed to a win-or-go home scenario, the 25-year-old Baltazar is just looking to make the most of his time, and hopefully lead the Green Archers to the crown.

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    Justine Baltazar and the Archers aren't ready to exit Season 84.
    PHOTO: UAAP
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