PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial amenable to lifting lifetime ban on Renaldo Balkman

ByAllan Lim

Photo from ABL

Alab Pilipinas world import Renaldo Balkman is having a grand time in the Asean Basketball League.

The 34-year old Puerto Rican is averaging 23 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.4 blocks in 11 games for the Philippine representative to the regional meet. More importantly, Balkman led the team to a 10-1 record since he came over and is currently in the midst of an 8-game winning run.

Alab is occupying solo 3rd behind Hong Kong Eastern and Chongson Kung Fu with an 11-4 card going into the playoffs.

Aside from winning the crown with the team, Balkman feels that he still has one unfinished business left, and that is to return where it all started – in the PBA.

The volatile reinforcement was banned for life by then PBA Commissioner Chito Salud on top of a P250,000 fine for choking teammate Arwind Santos and engaging other players and team officials in a verbal altercation during the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup.

With the help of his agent Sheryl Reyes who recently met with Commissioner Willie Marcial, Balkman’s dreams of playing again in Asia’s first play-for-pay league is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Marcial bared that he is agreeable to lifting the ban, but only upon the approval of Salud and the permission of Santos.

“Kakausapin ko muna yung mga tao na involved — si Commissioner, si Arwind, madali naman kausapin iyon. Kakausapin ko siya, gagawa siya ng letter. Kapag ok kay Arwind at Commissioner, kakausapin ko siya. Bakit hindi natin papalaruin? Iyan ay kung ok dun sa dalawang tao,” he said.

With Santos earlier releasing a statement claiming that all is well with him, the only obstacle that remains is the go-signal of Salud.

Things can wait for now, however, as Balkman is dead set in leading Alab to the promised land.


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