Justine Baltazar joins Hiroshima Dragonflies in Japan B.League | Inquirer Sports

Justine Baltazar joins Hiroshima Dragonflies in Japan B.League

/ 10:26 AM May 26, 2022

La Salle big man Justine Baltazar.

La Salle big man Justine Baltazar. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Justine Baltazar is officially taking his act to Japan B.League after signing with the Hiroshima Dragonflies.

Hiroshima welcomed the La Salle main man on Thursday morning for the 2022-23 B.League season.


Baltazar, who submitted his name in the 2022 PBA Rookie Draft but withdrew days before the draft day, said he decided to take his talent to the land of the rising sun for his family.


“Before signing the contract, I was thinking about my family first. Of course, I also had a strong desire to join this team. After considering my wife and son, I thought that Hiroshima was a wonderful team for my family,” he wrote in the team’s statement.

“It is a great honor to be a member of the team. I would like to do my best to contribute to the club.”

Baltazar capped his UAAP career with a spot in Season 84’s mythical team after he averaged 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.0 block.

The 6-foot-7 forward also led La Salle back in the Final Four but fell short in its do-or-die semifinals game against University of the Philippines, which eventually won the crown.

Hiroshima general manager Shuji Okazaki is excited to have the Gilas Pilipinas cadet on their team, which seeks to rise from a 12th overall finish with a 29-28 record in the 2021-22 season.

“I am confident that the variation of offense will increase. I think that it will be possible to reduce the tactics of the team as soon as possible even after joining the team because the awareness of the team is very high and the basketball IQ is also high. I look forward to the success that leads the team to victory,” Okazaki said.


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TAGS: Hiroshima Dragonflies, Japan B.League, justine baltazar

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