High-flying Justin Gutang becomes 3rd Filipino to play in KBL

Justin Gutang is headed to Korea. (Filbasket photo via sunstar.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

After RJ Abarrientos and SJ Belangel, another young Filipino is set to dazzle the Korean Basketball League (KBL) in their upcoming season.

Justin Gutang, a former small forward of the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers in the NCAA basketball tournament, is confirmed to sign with the Changwon LG in the KBL.

Changwon LG’s basketball operations announced that they will be acquiring Gutang under the Asian Player Quota.

After his stint with the Blazers, Gutang turned more heads after a stellar season with Nueva Ecija where he led the team to a grand finals appearance during the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational.

Gutang was unstoppable on their road to the finals and averaged an impressive 9.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game.

Despite falling at the hands of Basilan in the finals, Gutang proved he is a total package and was recruited by the San Juan-Go for Gold in the Filbasket tournament.

Gutang improved his numbers during the first Filbasket season and tallied 14.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while also bagging the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

The high-leaping forward is still under contract with San Juan where they are currently in the hunt for another championship title in the ongoing OkBet-MPBL league.

Since his collegiate days, Gutang showed a lot of improvement in his offensive game and has become a reliable shot-maker from the three-point range.

Gutang also stepped up his defensive game and became a two-way player with Nueva Ecija and San Juan, spearheading the teams’ block party while also showing his quickness and strength by defending all five positions.