Justine Baltazar is officially set to take his act in Japan’s B.League next season after signing with the top division side Hiroshima Dragonflies.
The Dragonflies announced the signing Thursday, May 26, two weeks after the former UAAP star from De La Salle University opted to withdraw from the PBA Rookie Draft.
Baltazar said he took into consideration his family before deciding to join the growing trend of Filipino cagers playing professional ball in the Land of the Rising Sun.
“Before signing the contract, I was thinking about my family first,” Baltazar said in a statement released by the club. “I thought Hiroshima Dragonflies was a great team for my family.
“I am very honored to be a member of the team. I will never forget this relationship for the rest of my life, and I would like to do my best to contribute for the club.”
The 6-foot-7 cager is coming off a stellar final season with La Salle, averaging 12.6 points and 10.8 rebounds and was named to the UAAP’s Mythical Team.
He narrowly beat the deadline to submit an application for the PBA Draft which would have made him a shoo-in to be among the top picks in the proceedings.
But Baltazar didn’t attend the mandatory Draft Combine and eventually notified the league of his decision to pull his name out of the proceedings amid rumors of his B.League plans.