Will Justine Baltazar forgo his final playing year with De La Salle University?
The incoming super senior for the Green Archers is one of the 17 players in the lineup of Chooks-to-Go National Basketball League-Pilipinas team Pampanga Delta.
Being in the lineup though does not mean that the 6-foot-8 Baltazar has decided to no longer play for La Salle. But once he steps foot in an NBL game, that’s when he will forfeit his UAAP eligibility.
The University Athletic Association of the Philippines does not acknowledge the Games and Amusements Board’s special guest license — a limited-time license which allows amateur players to compete in pro leagues.
The first case of a UAAP student-athlete playing in a pro league with an SGL was Juan Gomez de Liano during the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup. After playing one leg, the dynamic guard out of University of the Philippines was no longer eligible to play in the UAAP.
Baltazar has played a total of 59 games for La Salle, averaging 8.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest. His best year came during Season 82 that saw him average 15.14 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.07 blocks.
Also in Pampanga’s 17-man lineup are Gabriel Baluyut, Raymond Binuya, Jayson David, Mark Dyke, CJ Gania, Michael Garcia, Levi Hernandez, Ato Liangco, Primo Manaloto, Ronald Pascual, Daryl Pascual, Jeffrey Santos, Ronan Santos, Encho Serrano, Mark Tamayo, and Rhanzelle Yong.
Pampanga opens its title defense against the Mindoro Tamaraws tomorrow at 6PM.