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Justin Gutang bares next moves as he turns pro in MPBL

Justin Gutang was not part of the 48 players that applied for a special guest license from the Games and Amusements Board for the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational.

Yes, the 24-year-old College of Saint Benilde standout has a pro license. And it has been a long time coming for him.

“Coach TY [Tang], Coach Charles [Tiu], and I had a very long discussion for days, weeks, and months about it,” he said. “We all agreed that it was best for me to get to the next level.

“As much as I wanted to play for Benilde, I’m just blessed to have played for Benilde and play with these coaching staff.”

And the 6-foot-4 winger has already plotted his next move.

Right now, he is playing for Nueva Ecija in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational. Gutang also plans to return to the Rice Vanguards for the MPBL’s planned February tournament.

After that, he plans to throw his name in the 2022 PBA Draft.

“The next move for me is the February tournament then the PBA draft.”

Gutang has already shown vast improvements in his game in the MPBL — especially on the defensive end.

In their 88-85 win over San Juan, Gutang had 15 points, eight rebounds, and three assists — typical numbers he put up in the NCAA. But he also had two steals and a whopping five blocks.2021-Chooks-MPBL-Nueva-Ecija-vs-San-Juan-Rhenz-Abando-vs-Jusitn-Gutang-scaled Justin Gutang bares next moves as he turns pro in MPBL Basketball MPBL News  - philippine sports news

It’s because he is already preparing to face players much bigger than him.

“Coach Carlo [Tan] and the rest of the staff told me that I have to play the four in certain points,” he said. “Just studying film made me ready for this moment. Just worked hard and played with a lot of heart.”

“Coach TY and Coach Charles used to make fun of my defense,” he quipped.

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When Gutang enters the draft, Roi Sumang, who played in the PBA for five years, believes that he is a sure top pick.2021-Chooks-MPBL-Nueva-Ecija-vs-San-Juan-Roi-Sumang-x-Justin-Gutang-scaled Justin Gutang bares next moves as he turns pro in MPBL Basketball MPBL News  - philippine sports news

“Siguro, pa-draft na to ngayon. First pick na to para sa akin. Iba siya kahit sa practice namin. Hindi mo matatawaran yung puso ng bata.”

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