Photo by Angela Davocol
The Northport Batang Pier escaped the Magnolia Hotshots in a thriller, 94-90, in a tune-up game dedicated to Letran star Jerrick Balanza who is currently recovering from surgery.
Upon hearing the news, Balanza expressed his gratitude to the PBA teams and everyone who supported him in his battle against tumor.
Sobrang naa-appreciate ko ‘yung ginawa ng PBA na palaro para sa akin. Lalo na sa Letran pa ginanap,” Balanza said in an interview with The LANCE.
“Kung okay lang ako, gusto ko manuod dahil gusto ko ‘din makita ng malapitan ulit sila kuya PJ Simon and Jiovani [Jalalon],” he added, as he longs to see his PBA idols.
Balanza, who averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in the first round, will be sidelined for the rest of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season.
The lanky swingman then professed his love for the Letran community, saying: “Gusto kong taos pusong pasalamatan ‘yung Letran community sa pag tulong nila sakin hindi lang financially, emotionally. Especially, sa prayers talaga nila na nagpalakas ng dalangin sa ating Panginoon,” he shared.
“Saka sobrang sarap maging Letranista, arriba!” he exclaimed.
The former Batang Gilas stalwart went under the knife last September 7, Friday, due to a brain tumor in the left temporal lobe of his brain.
Magnolia Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero is glad to be part of this cause, especially in helping the ailing guard.
“Ang maganda dito is we played for a cause, we played for Jerrick, and also it’s a way of Magnolia Hotshots for helping Jerrick sa kung ano mang pinagdadaanan niya ngayon,”