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Birthday boy Jerrick Balanza leads Letran to convincing win over CSB



Tiebreaker Times Birthday boy Jerrick Balanza leads Letran to convincing win over CSB Basketball CSB CSJL NCAA News  Yankie Haruna TY Tang NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 95 Letran Seniors Basketball Kendrix Belgica Jerrick Balanza Bonnie Tan Bonbon Batiller Benilde Seniors Basketball

Coming off a stinging loss at the hands of San Sebastian, the Letran Knights made sure to give Jerrick Balanza the perfect birthday present as they thrashed the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 88-64, in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome, Friday.

Balanza fired 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field in just 23 minutes of play, as he was celebrating his 23rd birthday.

Besides snapping their two-game losing streak, the Knights ended the first round with a 6-3 win-loss. They have tied with CSB and Lyceum card, while also collecting their most convincing victory yet under head coach Bonnie Tan.

“Masaya ako na nailabas namin yung laro namin na hinahanap ko na dati pa,” said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan.

Before this, the Knight’s biggest margin in a victory was a 12-point rout of the JRU Heavy Bombers. And for Tan, his wards needed to rediscover their talents in order to finally show the team’s true potential.

“Yung break namin, tinake namin as a positive break. We want to rediscover yung talents namin, [while] at the same time, we identified yung mga errors namin, yung mga bad habits namin sa loob ng court,” Tan added.

Bonbon Batiller chipped in 10 points. Tommy Olivario and Larry Muyang had seven points each, with the former also collecting four assists.

Down by 13 points in the opening of the second half, Robi Nayve drained a three-pointer. Chris Flores then followed it up with a lay-up to slice Letran’s lead to just eight points, 40-48.

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The Knights, however, adjusted quickly and doused off the Blazers’ short run.

Without Muyang and Balanza on the floor, Christian Balagasay scored four points to engineer a 14-0 run. He gave Letran a 22-point cushion, 62-40, in the third quarter.

It was all Letran from there, as Balanza and Jeo Ambohot drained back-to-back treys to stretch the lead to 30 points – the biggest of the game – with 7:58 left in the final canto.

Kendrix Belgica was the lone double-digit scorer for Benilde, with 12 points along with seven rebounds. Star forward Justin Gutang was limited to three points and three turnovers.

The Scores:

CSJL (88)– Balanza 26, Batiller 10, Olivario 7, Muyang 7, Caralipio 6, Yu 6, Ular 6, Balagasay 6, Ambohot 5, Reyson 5, Mina 2, Sangalang 2, Javillonar 0, Guarino 0.

CSB (64) — Belgica 12, Haruna 8, Naboa 7, Flores 7, Carlos 7, Nayve 6, Sangco 5, Lepalam 5, Gutang 3, Young 3, Leutcheu 1, Dixon 1, Velasco 0, Mosqueda 0.

Quarterscores: 25-15, 46-35, 73-49, 88-64

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