After years of wait, Justine Baltazar will finally don the colors of Gilas Pilipinas.
The 6-foot-7 big man is part of the Philippines’ final line-up when it faces Thailand on Friday in the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain.
The lineup was only approved after midnight during the manager’s meeting, Friday (Manila time).
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced the lineup immediately afterward.
Despite being a highly-touted prospect, Baltazar, a native of Pampanga, never suited up for Gilas Youth.
Kobe Paras, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Dwight Ramos, and Juan Gomez de Liaño will act as leaders to the squad.
The squad will be coached by Jong Uichico and Tab Baldwin.
Cut were Calvin Oftana and Jaydee Tungcab.
The young squad will take on a short-handed Thailand squad consisting of Chanathip Jakrawan, Nakorn Jaisanuk, Nattakarn Muangboon, Wattana Suthisin, Chatpol Chuengyampin, Bandit Lakhan, Sukhdave Ghogar, Montien Wongsawangtham, Anucha Langsui, and Anasawee Klaewnarong.
Gilas is 1-0 in Pool, A while Thailand is 0-1.
The two squads face off again on Monday.