Jerrick Balanza gets reunited with Aldin Ayo as Converge ships Bulanadi to NorthPort

Converge is not yet done wheeling and dealing after shipping Allyn Bulanadi to NorthPort in exchange of two-way guard Jerrick Balanza.

Allyn Bulanadi (left) and Jerrick Balanza are switching places as Converge and NorthPort agree to a one-on-one trade. (PBA Images)

The deal, which was approved by the PBA office on Wednesday, Jan. 4, will have Converge head coach Aldin Ayo reunited with Balanza, a former soldier back in his time in the collegiate ranks with the Letran Knights.

It has been long rumored that the FiberXers are wanting to get their hands on Balanza ever since Ayo took the coaching reins from Jeffrey Cariaso prior to the start of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

There were even reports of a possible trade between NorthPort and Converge midway through the conference but was not pushed through with the Batang Pier being reluctant to ship away one of their key pieces.

With the trade coming into fruition this time around, Balanza will also get reunited with former backcourt running mate Kevin Racal along with Ayo’s former players in La Salle in Jeron Teng, Abu Tratter and Aljun Melecio.

Bulanadi, on the other hand, is expected to add more firepower for the Batang Pier especially on the offensive end which took a hit following the ACL injury of Will Navarro.

Known as a dead shot from beyond the arc and an explosive scorer back in college, the change of environment could be what Bulanadi needed to finally prove his worth in the big league after seeing limited action with the FiberXers as he joins an already potent lineup that is led by Robert Bolick and Arvin Tolentino.

The trade is now the second transaction approved by PBA involving Converge. Last Tuesday, Jan. 3, Converge shipped Mike DiGregorio, RK Ilagan and Tyrus Hill to Blackwater for Barkley Ebona and a first round pick for this year’s draft.