The PBA, through Commissioner Willie Marcial, has lifted the lifetime ban slapped by former commissioner Chito Salud on Renaldo Balkman for choking Petron Blaze Boosters teammate Arwind Santos five years ago.
The ban came with a P250,000 fine.
“He wrote a letter of appeal then personally appeared in my office. But I didn’t decide just based on that. I solicited the thoughts of commissioner Chito Salud and Arwind Santos. Both gave their thumbs up for the lifting of the ban,” said Marcial regarding the latest development.
Salud believes that the imposition of the ban has already made a difference in the life of Balkman.
“I trust that he has learned his lesson and has become a better person and a more disciplined athlete. Good luck to him,” said Sauld.
Balkman, who is currently playing for Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League (ABL), is now eligible to suit up as an import in the league’s upcoming conference – the Commissioner’s Cup which imposes a height limit of 6-foot-10 and is scheduled to kick-off on April 22.
Defending champion San Miguel still hold the rights to the 33-year old Puerto Rican and any team interested in enlisting his services must first secure clearance from the Beermen.