San Miguel Alab Pilipinas World Import Renaldo Balkman has withdrawn from the team citing “family matters” as the reason for his pullout just days before the team plunges into action in the 10th season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Team owner Charlie Dy confirmed that Balkman will be flying back to Puerto Rico to attend to personal issues.
The 35-year old Balkman, who will miss his 3rd straight tour of duty with the SMC-backed team, will be replaced by Nick King.
The withdrawal of the 2018 ABL Defensive Player of the Year will leave Lawrence Domingo and Brandon Rosser as the only holdovers from last year’s squad. The new-look Alab team will only have a little over a week to get all their players acclimated with each other before it takes on Mono Vampire on November 17 at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
King is coming off a stint in the NBA G-League wherein he posted averages of 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in 17.9 for the Maine Red Claws. He will join Khalif Wyatt and Adrian Forbes as the Philippine squad’s reinforcements.
Balkman led Alab to the title in 2018 alongside Brgy. Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and 3-time local MVP Ray Parks. He returned the following year and partnered with fellow Puerto Rican PJ Ramos but fell short of defending the title as they were ousted by Hong Kong Eastern in the quarterfinals.