After back-to-back losses against Meralco and Rain or Shine, the San Miguel Beermen have terminated the services of Troy Gillenwater and recalled former import Renaldo Balkman to anchor the team’s quest of defending the Commissioner’s Cup title and secure the 2nd jewel of the much-coveted Grand Slam.
Balkman, fresh from Alab Pilipinas’ title conquest in the ASEAN Basketball League where he was named as Co-Defensive Player of the Year, is back in the PBA five years after he was slapped a lifetime ban by then commissioner Chito Salud for choking teammate Arwind Santos and for engaging team officials in a verbal altercation.
Sitting commissioner Willie Marcial lifted the ban after the 33-year old Puerto Rican filed an appeal and personally pleaded his case.
The decision, Marcial said, was arrived at only after consultation with Salud and Santos.
Incidentally, Balkman will make his debut against the same team that he last faced, the Alaska Aces.
The Aces are currently on a roll, winning their last 3 games and a victory over the win-starved Beermen will propel them into a tie for top spot with TNT and Rain or Shine.
The much-anticipated game is set on Saturday, May 19, 5:00pm at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center in Dumaguete City.