There was much hope that Justine Baltazar can restart his career in Seoul after a disastrous run with Hiroshima.
However, it seems like the 25-year-old native of Pampanga has other plans.
A day after the February 1 deadline of the Korean Basketball League for player registration, Baltazar is still not in Korea, remaining in Dubai to play for Strong Group.
After securing his release with the B.League’s Dragonflies last December, Baltazar ended up committing to the KBL’s Thunders last January.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, the Samsung management did their due diligence in processing the working visa of Baltazar and his family.
However, all their efforts went for naught as according to the same sources, Baltazar suddenly stopped responding to them when asked how things were going on his end.
As mentioned earlier, the deadline had lapsed on Wednesday but the De La Salle University product remained with Strong Group in its campaign in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship.
This continues the string of unfortunate events for the Thunders who were looking to make a final push for the season.
Seoul Samsung initially signed William Navarro but the athletic forward was not able to secure his release from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. Navarro tore his ACL in a game with Northport.
The Thunders moved on and signed Christian David. David though was not able to play a single game with Seoul Samsung due to lingering knee injuries.
Then came the non-appearance of Baltazar.
The KBL though won’t take things lightly as they are currently investigating the case. If it’s proven that Baltazar acted in bad faith, the league might give a sanction to Baltazar — which at worst can be a ban.