Seoul Samsung Thunders claim that Justine Baltazar went cold and stopped responding after missing his flight bound for Korea.
Justine Baltazar was supposed to be flying to Korea before February 1 — the deadline set by the Korean Basketball League for player registration — but he was still with Strong Group in Dubai.
After his botched Japan B.League stint with the Hiroshima Dragonflies, the 25-year-old power forward secured his release from the team after Korean teams began showing interest in him.
Just this January, Baltazar and the Seoul Samsung Thunders confirmed their partnership through social media posts revealing that the KBL team has tapped the Gilas mainstay as their Asian import for the remainder of the season.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, reported by Tiebreaker Times, the Samsung management did their due diligence in processing the working visa of Baltazar and his family.
However, after the 6-foot-7 forward missed his flight to Korea on Tuesday, he also stopped responding to the team when asked about the situation.
Baltazar is surprisingly still in Dubai with the Strong Group, even playing in the game against Dynamo Lebanon which they eventually lost, contributing four points, four boards, and one steal in over 14 minutes off the bench last Thursday.
The development was first published in the Korean media site Jumpball in which they also revealed that Samsung is classifying Baltazar’s move as a breach of contract, planning to submit the case to the KBL Finance Committee.
“I tried to use the quota system ambitiously, but it failed,” Samsung coach Eun Hee Seok said,reported Spin.ph.
“It is more disappointing because it was a big man resource. I am worried that injuries will come out elsewhere while trying to compensate for that part.”
With how things are unfolding, it seems KBL will not take Baltazar’s no-show lightly and he might receive a sanction that the board will find appropriate.
Tags: #KBL, #Gilas, #basketball