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2019 SEA Games

Justine Baltazar grateful to finally get Gilas’ notice

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Tiebreaker Times Justine Baltazar grateful to finally get Gilas' notice 2019 SEA Games Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Justine Baltazar Gilas Pilipinas Men DLSU Men's Basketball 2019 SEA Games - Basketball

For the past two years, Justine Baltazar has been carrying the De La Salle University Green Archers.

Though it has been a struggle, the 6-foot-7 big man out of Pampanga has been drawing high praise from the Lasallian community.

Apparently, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has been keeping tabs on him as well.

The federation has named Baltazar as one of the eight amateur standouts potentially included in the 24-man Gilas Pilipinas pool for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

“First time ko ito. Natuwa talaga ako na may nakakakita pala sa akin.”

Despite his outstanding high school career at NU, the native of Pampanga never made it to Batang Gilas. And so his inclusion in the pool is already a dream come true for him.

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“Dream ko talaga ‘to. Siyempre, sa dinamidami ng players na gusto makapaglaro dito, na-mention ako. Yun pa lang, malaking honor na,” he said prior to La Salle’s 68-61 win over Adamson.

“Dati napi-picture ko lang.”

No one can ignore Baltazar this time around, though.

Last season, he made the All-UAAP team after being in the shadows of Ben Mbala during his first two years in La Salle. This season, he has raised his numbers, averaging 16.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.2 assists.

Even if he will not be lined up, Baltazar knows that training with the team will be a huge help for him moving forward.

“Nagulat na lang ako pero kung papalarin, malaking tulong ito. Goal ko talaga makapaglaro sa ganun. Gusto ko ma-experience yung international,” he said.

“Kung ma-line up, ibibigay ko talaga lahat para sa bayan.”

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