Sun.Star Cebu

La Salle’s Baltazar shuns PBA Draft, will play in Japan’s B. League


LA Salle and Gilas star Justine Baltazar has pulled his name out of the pool of players in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft and will soon sign with a team from the B. League in Japan.

PBA commission­er Willie Marcial himself announced the developmen­t during the second day of the PBA Combine, saying that the management team of the 6-foot-7 forward has formalized his withdrawal with a letter, citing an offer to play overseas.

Rumors were already swirling around regarding Baltazar’s status for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft with his conspicuou­s absence from the two-day Combine. The Pampanga native was reluctant to join the draft from the get-go as he submitted his paperwork during the last moments of the deadline last weekend.

Had Baltazar pushed through with joining this year’s draft, he would have been a shoo-in for the top pick, which is held by Blackwater. Baltazar had a stellar final season for De La Salle University as he led the Green Archers back to the Final Four on the strength of his per game averages of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block.

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