A year ago, Jerrick Balanza had to undergo surgery to remove the tumor in his brain, forcing him to celebrate his birthday in a hospital bed.
A year after the successful surgery, the senior swingman is playing the best basketball of his young career and making the most of his new lease on life.
With his offensive brilliance — that resulted in the Knights’ most convincing victory yet in NCAA Season 95 — he more than proved himself worthy as the latest Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week.
“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, ima-maximize ko talaga dahil bihira lang yung nabibigyan ng ganito eh,” said Balanza who is currently averaging 17.4 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds after missing all of the second round and the playoffs last season.
With their team captain spearheading the charge, Letran were able to arrest a two-game losing skid. They also forged a four-way tie for the second-seed with Lyceum, CSB, and San Sebastian.
Balanza edged Calvin Oftana of San Beda and Allyn Bulanadi of San Sebastian for the weekly plum handed out by scribes covering the beat from print and online.