JERRICK Balanza found his niche with NorthPort after agreeing to a contract extension with the franchise.
The 6-foot-3 forward out of Letran was signed to a two-year contract deal.
Balanza was with representative Edgar Mangahas during the contract signing also attended by Batang Pier team manager Bonnie Tan and assistant Waiyip Chong.
The signing comes at a time when the Batang Pier organization is embroiled in a contract row with big man Greg Slaughter, who remained unsigned since his old deal expired last January 31.
After a rookie season that saw him win a championship with Barangay Ginebra during the 2020 Philippine Cup bubble, Balanza was unleashed by NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio, serving as a big help off the bench during Season 46 where he averaged 5.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in the season-ending Governors Cup.
Balanza was acquired by the Batang Pier from the Kings in a swap of second round picks in last year’s draft, giving Ginebra the No. 13 spot which it used to select Brian Enriquez.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone was initially reluctant to trade Balanza, but admitted he couldn’t give him the needed playing with the Kings, where he played in just 10 games during the Clark bubble.
“We are happy we were able to put Jerrick in a place where he can fight for playing time and develop his game,” said Cone of Balanza.
Balanza played for Tan at Letran where they won the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball championship.
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