AFTER one season at Barangay Ginebra, Jerrick Balanza is headed to join Greg Slaughter and Co. at NorthPort.
The Letran hero was sent to the Batang Pier on Friday by Ginebra, which moved up 11 rungs from No. 12 to No. 1 in the draft order of the second round of Sunday's PBA Rookie Draft by virtue of the transaction.
The PBA trade committee approved the transaction on Friday, exactly a week after NorthPort and Ginebra shook up the offseason with the swap of big men featuring Greg Slaughter and Christian Standhardinger.
Balanza was earlier rumored to be part of that blockbuster deal but, a week later, still ended up at NorthPort in the deal that will have Ginebra picking at No. 1 in the second round - and 13th overall - on Sunday and the Batang Pier at No. 12.
According to SPIN.ph sources, Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who will be picking 12th and last in the first round, also wants the No. 13 selection overall to be able to go for a shooter like Jerrick Ahanmisi or Joshua Torralba.
The sweet-shooting former Knight becomes the latest former Ginebra player to be moved to NorthPort, joining Kevin Ferrer, Jervy Cruz, Paolo Taha and Slaughter.
At NorthPort, Balanza, who overcame brain surgery to cap his college career with a championship, will be reunited with Bonnie Tan, his coach at Letran who is team manager of the Batang Pier.
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio and SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua were also part of the 'Super Friends' who backed Tan and the Knights during that memorable run to the NCAA championship in 2019.
Batang Pier assistant coach Jeff Napa was also Balanza's former coach at Letran.