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On his birthday, Jerrick Balanza continues to be thankful for ‘second life’

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Tiebreaker Times On his birthday, Jerrick Balanza continues to be thankful for 'second life' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 95 Letran Seniors Basketball Jerrick Balanza

A day before his 22nd birthday, Jerrick Balanza was lying on a hospital bed, wondering when he would next step onto a basketball court again.

Balanza had to undergo brain surgery after doctors detected a tumor in his temporal lobe.

A day later, Balanza was at the National Kidney Transplant Institute, praying for another chance in life.

No longer was he thinking about his basketball career. The only thing on his mind was whether he could be with his wife and two loving kids for at least one more day.

Tiebreaker Times On his birthday, Jerrick Balanza continues to be thankful for 'second life' Basketball CSJL NCAA News  NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball NCAA Season 95 Letran Seniors Basketball Jerrick Balanza

“Nung time na yun, wala akong iniisip talaga kung hindi yung pamilya eh. Pamilya ko talaga yung maiiwan ko kung sakali,” recalled Balanza.

“Pero napakabait ni God, hindi niya pinabayaan na mangyari yun. Yun lang yung nasa isip ko nun. Yung basketball talagang sinet aside ko na muna eh.”

A year later, Balanza shows no signs of slowing down and playing the best basketball of his young career.

On his 23rd birthday, Balanza fired 26 points in just 23 minutes of play. He led the Knights past the CSB Blazers while also claiming their most dominant victory yet in the NCAA Season 95.

Yes, he plans on continuing to relish every single second of what he calls his “second life.”

“Ayun nga kasi, nabigyan pa ako ng isang taon, bagong isang taon. So [ngayon] yung sinasabi ko is lahat ng opportunity na dadating sa buhay ko, i-mamaximize ko talaga dahil bihira lang yung nabibigyan ng ganito eh.”

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