PBA: Back under the tutelage of Aldin Ayo, Jerrick Balanza is off to a good start at Converge

Jarek Balanza Converge PBA

Jerk Balanza. PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines — Jeric Balanza wants to make sure coach Alden Ayo made the right move in getting him after a solid debut for Converge at the expense of his former team Northport.

Acquired before the start of the PBA Governors Cup, Balanza had 13 points and four rebounds on Sunday FiberXers cruised past Batang Pier, 122-92. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Balanza was an 18-year-old freshman at Lateran in 2015 when Ayo led his alma mater to an unexpected NCAA championship. Their time together at Marla may have been short, but the young swingman feels there was a reason why the duo once again joined the same team.

“Maybe he liked what he saw from my early PBA games before coming. [to Converge] And that he wants me in his team because he felt I could fit into his system,” Balanza said in Filipino.

But despite his familiarity, Balanza admitted there’s still a bit of a learning curve given Ayo’s fast-paced offense and his attention to detail.

“The adjustment was really difficult because I have only been with the team for two weeks,” he said. “It’s good that my teammates and assistant coaches are really open to any questions I have, because I know Coach Aldean’s system is very complicated and very detailed.

“As of now, I’m still adjusting,” Balanza added.

Balanza was actually rumored to be moving to Converge during the Commissioner’s Cup elimination. But the trade never happened, and Eve denied any move at the time.

Converge is Balanza’s third PBA team, who has a chance to finally emerge as a reliable player after some on-and-off performances for previous employers that included a championship with Barangay Ginebra in 2020.

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