Tim Cone says Balti Baltazar has 'zero interest' in joining Gilas

Balti Baltazar is said to be not interested in joining Gilas. MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

LOS BANOS--Fans have long been clamoring for Balti Baltazar to get another Gilas Pilipinas call-up as they thought his length would be of great help in the frontline in the early stages of the FIBA World Cup.

The six-foot-nine Pampanga Giant Lanterns superstar is currently the best player in a domestic pro league outside of the PBA, being the frontrunner for the MPBL MVP award.

With vast experience in the international game being one of Tab Baldwin's key players when he was still Gilas's coach--all the more that the MPBL is purely using the FIBA rules--Baltazar would have indeed been a great addition to Gilas.

However, new Gilas coach Tim Cone said that Baltazar was just disinterested in making a national team return at least for the moment.

"We have tried to get Balti forever. He never is available," Cone said when he was named the new Gilas coach for the Asian Games on Thursday at the PBA office in Quezon City. "He has shown us zero interest."

He then said that Baltazar would have easily been at least in the Gilas World Cup training pool if he accepted the call-up invite.

"We tried really really hard to get him for the World Cup team. He was one of the guys that we really desired, but he's just not available," Cone continued.

Despite being pressed for time to form a Gilas team for the Asian Games, with Cone's statement, don't expect Baltazar to be invited.

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