Justin Baltazar joins Hiroshima Dragonflies in Japan B League

Justin Baltzer is a big man in La Salle.

Justin Baltzer is a big man in La Salle. UAAP pictures

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Baltzer is officially taking his place in the Japan B League after signing with Hiroshima Dragonflies.

For the 2022-23 B-League season, Hiroshima welcomed the main man in La on Thursday morning.

Baltazar, who submitted his name to the 2022 PBA rookie draft but withdrew the day before the draft, said he decided to take his talent to the land of the rising sun for his family.

“Before signing the contract, I first thought about my family. Of course, I also had a strong desire to join this team. After considering my wife and son, I thought Hiroshima was a great team for my family, “he wrote in a team statement.

“It’s an honor to be a member of the team. I want to give my best to contribute to the club. “

Baltazar limited his UAAP career to a place in the legendary team of season 84 when he averaged 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks.

The 6-foot-7 forward also led La Salle to the Final Four but fell behind in his do-or-die semifinal game against the University of the Philippines, which eventually won the crown.

Hiroshima general manager Shuji Okazaki is thrilled to have the Gilas Pilipinas cadet in his squad, which seeks to rise from 12th overall finish with a 29-28 record in the 2021-22 season.

“I am convinced that crime will increase. I think that even after joining the team it will be possible to reduce the team strategy as soon as possible because the team awareness is much higher and the basketball IQ is also higher. I look forward to success that will lead the team to victory, “said Okazaki.

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