Another young Filipino prospect has eyes on him from not just in the B.League but also in National Basketball League-USA.
Pampanga’s sports coordinator Alan Trinidad revealed that three B.League teams and an NBL-USA team are inquiring about La Salle’s Justine Baltazar.
“Tatlong teams ang nagtatanong tungkol sa kanya sa B.League. Kahit sa NBL USA, kinukuha siya. ‘Yung Chicago na team nila doon,” Trinidad said on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas’ Snowball.
Trinidad did not reveal the B.League teams that were eyeing Baltazar.
Pampanga Governor Delta Pineda is currently studying all options, as Baltazar is focusing on Gilas Pilipinas’ upcoming campaigns in the Asia Cup, the World Cup Qualifiers, and hopefully the Southeast Asian Games.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, the 24-year-old’s commitment to Gilas is up until January of 2022.
“Maraming kumukuha, pero iba pa ‘yung kino-concentrate ng bata. Kaya pinag-aaralan pa ni Gov ‘yung technicalities,” continued Trinidad.
Baltazar has shone with Gilas over the past two years.
The UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Mythical Five team member played in five games during the Asia Cup Qualifiers. He averaged 7.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.
He also showed up in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament-Belgrade, norming 7.5 points and 4.5 boards.
It is not farfetched that Baltazar is attracting a lot of interest in Japan since it is hard to find a 6-foot-9 player who fits the Asian Player Quota rule.
On the other hand, NBL-USA has been keeping tabs on Baltazar for a long time. He also suited up for the Pampanga Delta in the Chooks-to-Go-backed NBL-Pilipinas’ 2020 season.
Going pro will mean that Baltazar has to forgo his final year in La Salle, though.
Asked about how much the offer for Baltazar was, Trinidad has this to say.
“Maganda naman ‘yung alok sa kanya. Hindi maiwan dun kay Ravena at baka tumaas pa,” said Trinidad, not revealing if it was either Thirdy or Kiefer.