It’s the start of Renaldo Balkman’s redemption in the PBA and he’ll do it with the same team he spent his first stint with.
Balkman was practically exiled from the Philippines’ premier basketball league when he got banned in 2013 following a choking incident with teammate Arwind Santos when San Miguel was still known as the Petron Blaze Boosters.
But five years after the incident, the Puerto Rican international said what happened between him and Santos was all in the past.
“I’m here now, negativity is what happened in the past and that is all over now,” said Balkman Thursday at Acropolis Club House. “We’re here to win games and we’re trying to win championships. I’m being positive about everything.”
Balkman had a heated altercation with Santos and subsequently choked his teammate during a Commissioner’s Cup game against Alaska, a match that Petron lost 83-73, back in 2013.
Then-commissioner Chito Salud then banned Balkman from the PBA, on top of a P250,000 fine, but that ruling was then overturned five years later by current commissioner Willie Marcial.
Balkman, though, was able to redeem his image with Alab Pilipinas and helped the club to the Asean Basketball League title a few days before getting his ban lifted.
And as for his relationship with Santos, Balkman said they have patched things up and now share the same goal of getting the Commissioner’s Cup title.
“Arwind’s my guy, and to everybody out there we hashed it a long time ago and we’re teammates again,” said Balkman. “We have the same focus, the same goal, the same mentality and that’s winning a championship.”
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