Justin Baltazar

Eye Catching Prospect Justin Baltazar Decides to sit out PBA Rookie Draft

Justine Baltazar, widely regarded as the top prospect for the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft, has stunned many by opting out entirely. His absence is notable in the PBA draft pool, which was just announced, leaving fans and pundits perplexed over his decision.

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Baltazar, a former LaSalle Green Archers player, was primarily considered the draft’s consensus number-one choice this year. His remarkable résumé featured three Mythical Team selections and a UAAP title with the Green Archers, making him a highly sought-after prospect for PBA clubs.

Despite the excitement surrounding his arrival into the professional league, no apparent reason for Baltazar’s decision to skip the PBA draft has been offered. His most recent professional route saw him play with the Hiroshima Dragonflies in the Japan B.League until December 2022, when he transferred to the Pampanga Giant Lanterns in the MPBL.

The Pampanga Giant Lanterns led the MPBL with 23 victories and only two defeats. Baltazar has been a critical contributor to their success, averaging 17.5 points, 16.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Baltazar’s withdrawal from this year’s PBA draft is a big event, as he was projected to be a first-round choice, maybe among the top three. Even without him, the 2023 draft includes famous foreign players such as Kenneth Tuffin, Kemark Carino, and Stephen Holt. Several collegiate talents have joined the draft, including Schonny Winston, Ricci Rivero, Zavier Lucero, Brent Paraiso, Raffy Verano, and Sherwin Concepcion.

Finally, Justine Baltazar’s decision to forego the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft has left basketball fans and pundits guessing about his future intentions. While his absence is unexpected, it adds to the excitement of this year’s draft, with other bright prospects eager to make their mark in Asia’s finest professional basketball league. Fans will be waiting with bated breath to see where these emerging talents land and how they contribute to the competitive environment of the PBA in the future seasons.

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