Balkman on joining Alab Pilipinas: ‘I finally have a chance for redemption’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 01, 2018 07:55 PM
Balkman on joining Alab: ‘I have a chance for redemption’
Photo courtesy of Charlie Dy Twitter (left photo), FIBA (right photo)

Renaldo Balkman is here to help Alab Pilipinas in its championship campaign in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League.

“Thankful for another opportunity to do what I love to do,” he said in a statement through agent Sheryl Reyes.

The Puerto Rican-American will be joining forces with fan favorite Justin Brownlee and reigning and defending Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. for the Filipino side seeking to get its first win run of the season going.

On a more personal note, however, Balkman is here to make a different kind of mark from the one he had the last time he was in the Philippines. “Five years to the day I did something I regret… Now, I finally have a chance for redemption,” he said.

The versatile forward was once a reinforcement for Petron in the PBA back in 2013.

In the dying seconds of the Blaze Boosters’ game against Alaska on March 8, he went berserk following what he felt was a non-call by the referees. He wound up shoving game officials, his coaches, and his teammates Ronald Tubid and Arwind Santos.

The incident ended with what is the most infamous image he has in the minds of Filipinos – him putting his two hands around the neck of Santos.

Not long after the incident, then-PBA commissioner Chito Salud banned Balkman for life and fined him PhP 250, 000.

That incident has only changed him for the better, says the now 33-year-old. “I learned a valuable lesson from (that)… Always remember to keep your composure and be the best role model you can be,” he said.

With that, he is aiming to reward the chance given him by Alab by helping them better their current 1-3 standing.

Balkman and Brownlee debut when they take on Westports Malaysia on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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