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    Jerrick Balanza counting on Fran Yu to lead way in Letran's title-retention bid

    Nov 24, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    THERE'S no question for Jerrick Balanza who will carry the torch for Letran once he leaves the confines of Muralla.

    "Si Fran (Yu), siya na ang magiging beterano next year," the graduating winger said without hesitation.

    Yu broke out of his shell in the NCAA Season 95 playoffs that ended with the Knights hoisting the championship trophy and the Tondo-bred guard, who was adjudged as the Most Improved Player of the season, winning the Finals MVP plum.

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    That alone makes Balanza believe that Yu will be a perfect fit in fulfilling the role of the team's captain.

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    "Sabi ko sa kanya, simulan na niya sa ensayo at dapat may communication lagi," he advised.

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      It doesn't diminish the pain that Balanza feels as he's heartbroken departing the place he regarded as his second home, ending what has been a decade-long stay in Letran that netted two championships, including this 18th NCAA title.

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      "Lagi kong sinasabi sa teammates ko, sila na ang pangalawa kong pamilya. Mas matagal ko silang kasama kaysa sa family ko," he said, hopeful that what his batch started can be sustained by his juniors and can bring more trophies for the Knights.

      "Kung ano ang iiwan namin ni Bon (Batiller) dito, kailangan dalhin ninyo yun next year. Kung paano namin kayo binuo, kung paano tayo nagbuo-buo, dapat ganoon ulit tayo next year."

      "Ibalik natin sa Letran community yung back-to-back championship."

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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