Jerrick Balanza is moving over to NorthPort after just one season with Brgy. Ginebra.
The Gin Kings and the Batang Pier sealed a deal on Friday which involved the former Letran Knight and the two teams’ second round picks. Along with Balanza, NorthPort also received Brgy. Ginebra’s 2nd round pick (No. 24). Brgy. Ginebra, meanwhile, acquired NorthPort’s 2nd round pick (13th overall).
The crowd darlings, thus, moved 11 rungs higher in the 2nd round – from number 12 to number 1.
The PBA trade committee gave its stamp of approval in the swap which came exactly a week after the two teams figured in the biggest deal in recent times – a one-for-one trade featuring 7-foot Greg Slaughter and 6-foot-8 Christian Standhardinger.
Balanza was actually rumored to be part of the first deal but his name was removed in the last minute. His transfer, however, pushed through one week after and will reunite him with Letran coach Bonnie Tan, also the Batang Pier team manager.
According to sources, Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone wanted to move up in the draft in order to have a better shot at shooters like Jerrick Ahanmisi and Joshua Torralba.
The 24-year old Balanza will join former Gin Kings Jervy Cruz, Paolo Taha, Kevin Ferrer and Greg Slaughter at the NorthPort side.