Photo by Angela Davocol
Letran star JerrickBalanza will be facing the biggest battle of his career as he was diagnosed with a brain tumor which will sideline him for the rest of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 94 basketball tournament.
Fr. Victor Calvo, OP, broke the news yesterday, September 5, and confirmed that there was a tumor in the temporal lobe of Balanza’s brain.
Calvo’s letter to the NCAA’s management committee stated that: “[Balanza] needs to undergo an operation due to the tumor found in his temporal lobe of the brain.”
The former Batang Gilas stalwart thanked everyone who has given him support during this challenging time.
“I am very thankful for the support of my school – the Dominican priests, the lay officials, and the people who have shown love and care, including those on social media. It motivates me to keep faith, to be brave, to overcome this current challenge in my life,” said Balanzain a statement released by Letran Official.
Upon hearing the news, different basketball personalities have expressed their support for Balanza through social media.
To name a few are Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Gabe Norwood, Meralco’s Baser Amer, San Beda’s Robert Bolick and JaveeMocon, Adamson star JeriePingoy, UE head coach Joe Silva, and former Letran head coach Louie Alas.
Prayers sent!— Gabe Norwood (@GNorwood5) Setyembre 5, 2018
Prayers for Jerrick Balanza ????????????— Javee Mocon (@RealJaveeMocon) Setyembre 5, 2018
Shocking mews regarding jerrick balanza. Get well soon.— joe silva (@joesilva18) Setyembre 5, 2018
Get well Jerick Balanza,Prayers up!— Louie Alas (@CoachLouieAlas) Setyembre 5, 2018
The #LetranKnights won the NCAA championship on Jerrick's rookie year. From a goofy kid playing in the confetti, he grew into a leader and fierce competitor in #NCAASeason94.— Ceej Tantengco (@ceejtheday) Setyembre 6, 2018
It's Jerrick's birthday today, and I hope he has many, many more. #PrayersForJerrick https://t.co/92xBarlWgr
“I am grateful for those who are helping me, spiritually, financially, morally. My only request is for everyone – especially my fellow Letranites – to pray for me, to pray with me, for my healing and recovery and return to active play,” he said.
Balanza has been averaging 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 25.5 minutes of action and played a vital role in the Knights’ third place finish in the first round of the tournament.
In his absence, Letran requested the activation of reserved player Gaylord Jap Pambid to replace him in the roster.