During the first two games of the Letran Knights, graduating senior Jerrick Balanza has put on a show.
But first-year Letran head coach Bonnie Tan was not satisfied. He needed his other seniors to step up — namely Bonbon Batiller.
“Hopefully, before matapos ang first round, makarecover na kami sa pagbaba ng bila. Laking bagay na nawala si JP [Calvo],” said Tan.
Batiller though has been struggling in the first two games, averaging just 2.0 points per game on 1-of-5 shooting. And Batiller knows it as he missed the entire pre-season due to a shoulder injury.
“Talagang chinachallenge ni Coach Bonnie yung mga leaders.
“Kaya para sakin, gagawin ko ang lahat para maabot ko yung expectation niya rin sakin para makatulong ako sa team as a leader at senior ng team,” said the 25-year-old combo guard.
And when Balanza cooled down, Batiller stepped up, scoring 14 points — all in the first half — to lead the Knights to a 55-43 grindout win over the JRU Heavy Bombers.
“Okay na rin sa pakiramdam kasi eto yung pangatlong game ko sa buong taon. Galing ako sa opera sa injury, kaya yung first two games ang hirap mag-adjust kasi kahit tune-up wala akong nalaro,” expressed Batiller.
“Nakuha ko na rin yung kumpiyansa ko.”
With this, Letran is finally starting to complete its puzzle for the NCAA grind.
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