NCAA 95: Balanza on Letran-LPU: ''Di pa yun yung huling laro ko'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 05, 2019 07:04 PM
Balanza on Letran-LPU: ''Di pa yun yung huling laro ko'
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Jerrick Balanza proved to be a man of his word, Tuesday at Cuneta Astrodome.

Collecting 15 points, six rebounds, and four assists, the graduating guard was a big-time contributor in Colegio de San Juan de Letran's hard-fought triumph over San Sebastian College-Recoletos in their knockout bout in the stepladder playoffs of the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.

That was exactly what he said he would do heading into their do-or-die matchup.

"Parati ko silang china-challenge na wag masiyahan," the team captain said at the end of the elimination round. "Kung masaya kayo dyan, kaming (seniors), hindi pa kasi pumunta tayo rito hindi lang para makapasok ng Final Four, but to play for the championship."

Still, Balanza is far from satisfied. As he put it, "Nagawa ko naman, pero 'di pa ako kuntento kasi 'di pa namin nari-reach yung goal namin. Ako rin, never stop learning dapat so dapat, mas marami pang ipakita."

With that, the 6-foot-2 swingman made another vow - that the Knights will continue to go all-out in another knockout bout on Friday, that one up against elimination round tormentor and second-seed Lyceum of the Philippines University. "Confident kaming madadala namin 'to sa Lyceum kasi alam kong buo kami e. Confident kaming pagtatrabahuan naming matalo yung Lyceum sa ensayo pa lang," he said.

On a personal level, Balanza also promised that he will extend his collegiate career just a little longer. "'Di pa yun yung huling laro ko. Kung ako tatanungin, siyempre, ayoko talaga," he shared.

He then continued, "Ayoko pang magbakasyon. Gusto ko pang makasama teammates ko nang mas matagal. Ayoko pang maghiwa-hiwalay kami."

Only time will tell if the 23-year-old will keep proving to be a man of his word.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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