Quinto, Napa dedicate emotional win to ailing Letran guard

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September 07, 2018
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By Miguel La Torre

The Letran Knights poured their hearts out as they deal the Arellano University Chiefs a 17-point beating yesterday; dedicating the win to Jerrick Balanza, who was diagnosed with a tumor in his brain’s left temporal lobe.

Bong Quinto was a man on a mission; collecting 26 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds to power the Knights’ inspired play. The graduating forward was also seen wearing Balanza’s jersey in warm-ups, together with Bonbon Batiller.

The whole squad displayed their support for Balanza, as the team was seen wearing a small number seven on their jerseys. Quinto also wrote the words ‘JB’ and ‘#7” on his game shoes.

“Nag-uusap kami lagi, ine-encourage ko siya, sinasabi ko na kaya niya ‘yan, huwag mo ipakita sa asawa at anak mo na ikaw mismo ang nanghihina,” said Quinto, after their 99-82 win against the Chiefs. Quinto and Balanza shared a special friendship on and off the court as both has played for Letran in the juniors division, and also winning a championship together in 2015 as sophomore and rookie respectively.

Aside from this, Quinto gave the best possible advice to his brother, which is put his faith in the Man above as he will do the rest for the ill star. “Magtiwala ka lang sa Diyos kasi this time hindi na tao ang tutulong sayo, may gagamitin lang ang Diyos para tulungan ka pero Diyos lang talaga ang makakatulong sa kaniya. Actually siya na nga rin mismo ang nagsabi sa akin na siguro kinakatok lang siya ng Diyos sa kung paano ‘yung relasyon ko sa kaniya. Baka sinasabi lang sa akin na nakakalimot na ako,” explained Quinto.

Meanwhile, Letran head coach Jeff Napa, disclosed to the media Balanza’s little request to the team. “Nagre-request nga siya, birthday niya kasi, nai-dedicate namin ‘yung game na ito para sa kaniya. Given naman na ‘yun, all throughout the season, ganun ‘yung gagawin namin,” shared Napa.

“Dagdag motivation din sa amin lalo na magtrabaho. Jerrick is Jerrick eh, it’s a matter lang na kung sino ‘yung tutulong sa posisiyon niya kasi hindi naman iniisip na kawalan siya eh, ‘yung mag fi-fill lang sa laro ni Jerrick na magcocontribute sa laro,” he explained.

Balanza’s surgery was a success, the Letran guard is currently spending time in the recovery room of National Kidney and Transplant Institute.

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