A TRADE between Northport and Converge hangs in the balance as the Batang Pier are reportedly not keen on giving up third-year forward Jerrick Balanza.
The 6-foot-3 forward iis obviously central to the deal as the FiberXers are really after his services, having played for Converge coach Aldin Ayo during his time at Letran, where they won an NCAA championship in 2015 in Balanza’s rookie year.
But a person privy to the negotiations said NorthPort management is very hesitant to let go of Balanza, who has been a key player in coach Pido Jarencio’s rotation since acquiring him in a trade with Barangay Ginebra last year.
“Alam naman natin na kaya nag-usap about the trade dahil gustong makuha ng Converge si Balanza dahil naging player siya ni Aldin Ayo sa Letran,” said the source who requested anonymity.
“Pero ayaw rin siyang ibigay ng NorthPort kasi ang ganda ng laro niya sa kanila. So kung hindi naman ibibigay si Balanza, i-pursue pa kaya ng Converge yung trade?”
Under the proposed deal, Converge will give up Allyn Bulanadi and Tyrus Hill to NorthPort in exchange for Balanza and Kevin Ferrer.
Ayo appears to be eyeing the services of his former college players in his first year in charge of the FiberXers, who absorbed Jeff Cariaso and kept him for one conference after buying the Alaska franchise.
Earlier, the rookie franchise acquired Ayo’s former point guard at La Salle in Aljun Melecio and big man Kris Porter following a trade with Phoenix for the duo of Ben Adamos and Kurt Lojera.