Letran captain Balanza on NCAA Finals: 'Sa amin pa rin 'to'
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 19, 2019 11:40 AM
(Photo by Josh Albelda)
Colegio de San Juan de Letran was one Bonbon Batiller reverse lay-up away from an improbable championship in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.
Or that could also be - if not for Fran Yu's cramps, the Knights may very well be already celebrating their first championship since 2015.
Only, it wasn't meant to be and archrival San Beda University eked out a Game 2 win to send the series to a winner-take-all Game 3.
And instead of being down, Letran remains nothing but upbeat about its chances of finishing what it had already started by dealing the Red Lions their first defeat in Game 1.
"Pinaniwala ko sila na sa pagiging positibo, maganda yung nangyayari," team captain Jerrick Balanza said right after their loss. "Positive lang kami. Sa amin pa rin 'to. Sa amin pa rin yung Game 3."
Indeed, for the second game in a row, Letran proved it could hang with the league's dynasty - and if only a few more breaks went its way, could very well have swept the squad that had just swept the elimination round.
That is exactly why in the eyes of Balanza, this is just the higher being's way of giving him more time with his teammates before he graduates. As he put it, "Ako, tinatanaw kong positibo 'to kasi pinapasarap lang 'to ni Lord, ayaw pa kaming paghiwa-hiwalayin."
With that, the 6-foot-2 swingman is just ready and raring to do what leaders do - show the way for his teammates both in words and in action. "Sila, iyak sila, pero ako na kapitan nila, 'di ko sila pinakitaan nang ganun. Wala akong pinakita sa kanilang nada-down ako," he said.
He then continued, "Talagang pinakita ko sa kanilang nakangiti ako kasi ako yung kapitan, sa akin magsisimula talaga. Sa amin pa rin 'to."
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