MPBL MVP Justine Baltazar says no desire to join PBA

ALTHOUGH he admits being a fan of Barangay Ginebra high-flyer Japeth Aguilar and San Miguel’s seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, two-time MPBL MVP Justine Baltzar says he is not yet tinkering on the possibility of joining the next PBA draft.

In a chat with shortly after leading the Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda-coached squad to its first ever MPBL title, Baltazar revealed that if given a choice, he’d rather stick it out with Pampanga in the regional league.

Sa ngayon wala pa kong plano, dito muna ako (sa MPBL). Nag-eenjoy muna ko sa Pampanga, para sa mga Kapampangan,” said Baltazar, adored by his cabalens as a hero for leading a rookie-laden team to the championship.

With his regular season averages of 17.1 points, 16.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, no doubt, Baltazar can stand out in any league.
But the 27-year old big man knows his value to the province and fears his departure would dent the team’s progress.

“Yun po kasi ang isang concern ko. If aalis ako baka mag-struggle ang team especially now, champion na kami. May objective ang mga cabalen ko na maidepensa yung titulo. Wala pang nakakagawa nun sa MPBL. Yung title defense saka two championships,” said the former La Salle star.

Baltazar fields Japan offers
Baltazar revealed that there are three teams from the Japan B.League which called when he and the Giant Lanterns were in the thick of their campaign in the MPBL playoffs.

“May mga tumawag sa ‘kin, kaso di ko masyado natutukan kasi nga naghahanda ako sa MPBL finals nun,” he said.

Asked if he is not in a rush to play with his idols Aguilar and Fajardo, who are both in the twilight of their careers, Baltazar only responded with a smile.

“Gusto ko rin silang makalaro. Mga idol ko sila eh, saka si (Raymond) Almazan. Kaso need ko muna timbangin ang commitment ko sa Pampanga at mga kababayan ko dito,” said Baltazar, whose father is a big fan of ‘El Presidente’ Ramon Fernandez.

With his size, agility and outside shooting, no doubt Balatzar, who sometimes plays the point for Pampanga, will be a big hit if and when he decides to join the PBA draft.


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