Magnolia adds more firepower after acquiring Jerrick Balanza from Converge

Jerrick Balanza became the newest member of the Magnolia franchise (PBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Magnolia Hotshots Chicken Timplados already made early in-season moves in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup after landing Jerrick Balanza from the Converge FiberXers.

It was the PBA front office headed by commissioner Willie Marcial that approved the trade, with the final proposal involving Converge swapping Balanza for Magnolia’s 2024 PBA Rookie Draft second-round pick.

With the done deal, the Chicken Timplados just added another versatile small forward who can act like a 3-and-D decoy just like their primary defender Rome dela Rosa.

Before taking his talent to Magnolia, Balanza became a solid member of Converge’s head coach Aldin Ayo’s rotation.

A savvy combo forward who can handle the rock, score the ball, and defend with great laterals, Balanza is expected to fortify Magnolia’s deep rotation in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup conference.

Balanza started his career in the PBA last 2019 when he was drafted as the 13th overall pick by the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

However, his career under head coach Tim Cone was only short-lived after Ginebra sent him to the NorthPort Batang Pier the following year.

In his stay with NorthPort, Balanza slowly regained his confidence in shooting the basketball and became a part of Robert Bolick’s supporting cast.

Two years later, Balanza was tapped by his former collegiate coach Ayo to join him in Converge during the 2022-2023 season.