Balanza's career-high 31 points carries Letran into NCAA 95 win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 12, 2019 04:17 PM
NCAA 95: Balanza's career-high carries Letran to first win
Jerrick Balanza put Letran on his back and carried them into the win column

Jerrick Balanza’s game-long brilliance shone the way for Colegio de San Juan de Letran past Arellano University, 81-72, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre and into the winners’ circle in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Balanza scored an NCAA career-best 31 points, 13 coming in the final frame, to go along with three rebounds and two assists to seize win no. 1 for the Knights following a season-opening loss.

"Actually, everyone stepped up sa second half. We're just happy to win this game," head coach Bonnie Tan said after his first win in the Grand Old League since Season 90.

The Chiefs were actually keeping close and even had a two-point lead, 62-60, early in the fourth quarter until the Intramuros-based team went big and owned the paint.

With the ball in the hands of its team captain, Letran went on a 19-5 tear to, all of a sudden, boost his side ahead, 79-67, inside the last three minutes.

All but six of those points were by Balanza who simply schooled all of Rence Alcoriza, Alfren Gayosa, and Jade Talampas. "Jerrick is an experienced player and he just knows how to make plays down the stretch," coach Bonnie, on his first year for the blue and red, said.

In the end, he was backed up by Jeo Ambohot who posted a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Ato Ular and King Caralipio also added eight points apiece to go along with much-welcome energy and intensity.

Alcoriza was the lone bright spot for Arellano with 19 points while Justin Arana also added 12 markers, five blocks, three rebounds, and three assists. With no answer for Balanza, however, they remain winless in two games.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 81 - Balanza 31, Ambohot 15, Ular 8, Caralipio 8, Mina 6, Muyang 5, Olivario 2, Javillonar 2, Sangalang 2, Reyson 2, Yu 0, Batiller 0, Balagasay 0

ARELLANO 72 - Alcoriza 19, Arana 12, Gayosa 11, Salado 9, Sablan 8, Talampas 6, Concepcion 4, Bayla 3, Espiritu 0, De Guzman 0, Santos 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-16, 36-40, 60-59, 81-72

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