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Talented forward Justine Baltazar is heading to Japan to play for the Hiroshima Dragonflies in Japan’s B.League.
The team announced the latest addition to their squad on Thursday morning.
“Before signing the contract, I was thinking about my family first. Of course, I also had a strong desire to join this team. However, after considering my wife and son, I thought that Hiroshima Dragonflies was a wonderful team for my family,” said Baltazar in a statement.
“It is a great honor to be a member of the team. I would like to do my best to contribute to the club,” he added.
The signs were already on the wall that the 6-foot-7 big man from La Salle was going to play overseas as he pulled out from the recent PBA Rookie Draft. The Pampanga native was a sought-after talent after he put up stellar numbers of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.0 block per game which earned him Mythical Five honors.
The Green Archers also made it back to the Final Four before losing to eventual UAAP champions, University of the Philippines.
Hiroshima general manager Shuji Okazaki said Baltazar’s arrival will change the team’s dynamics for the better.
“I am confident that the variation of offense will increase. I think that it will be possible to reduce the tactics of the team as soon as possible even after joining the team because the awareness of the team is very high and the basketball IQ is also high. I look forward to the success that leads the team to victory,” said Okazaki.