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Justine Baltazar rejoins Strong Group ahead of Dubai event

A month after leading Pampanga to the MPBL title, Justine Baltazar is back with Strong Group. MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Strong Group Athletics brought back Justine Baltazar to its fold ahead of the Dubai International Basketball Championship.

Strong Group announced the development on Monday night, hours after fans were quick to notice his attendance in practice.

The six-foot-nine center-forward was seen in a huddle with the team during its first practice as shared by the club in its Instagram story with the caption "Spot who's on the team."

The fans instantly deduced that "Balti" was on the team a few seconds into seeing the video.

Baltazar was part of Strong Group's 2023 team that made the quarterfinals of the DIBC along with fellow La Sallian Kevin Quiambao.

This time around, aside from reuniting with Quiambao, Baltazar teams up again with Allen Liwag barely a month after they helped Pampanga win the MPBL title.

Baltazar was a dominating force for the Giant Lanterns last season, walking away with all the MVP awards at stake for 2023, the regular season, All-Star Game, and Finals MVP honors.

Also, Baltazar gets to play with former NBA superstar Dwight Howard, who is now Strong Group's centerpiece.

Team owner Frank Lao has been known to have a good friendship with Pampanga governor and Giant Lanterns head coach Delta Pineda, which made life easier for Strong Group to bring back Baltazar.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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