ABL: Alab's Balkman enjoys luxury of having PJ Ramos, new faces around
Danine Cruz on Dec 10, 2018 10:33 AM
Balkman enjoys having young teammates around
Renaldo Balkman registered a dominant double-double performance of 33 points and 11 rebounds in Alab Pilipinas' first game in the ASEAN Basketball League Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Sports Complex.
In their 94-67 beating of the CLS Knights Indonesia, Balkman also had three assists and three blocks to go along his all around brilliance.
The Puerto Rican reinforcement credited his stellar performance to being around new faces and young bloods in the team such as Ethan Alvano, Brandon Rosser, and Caelan Tiongson.
"I feel like I'm still young. I can run with the best of them. By putting me around guys who love to run and love to play defense, man, they're everywhere that just makes us better," said the 34-year-old.
Balkman, who was pivotal in Alab's championship run last season, made sure to take advantage of the presence of the young guns, plus Alab's second import, the 7-foot-3 PJ Ramos.
"I've seen a lot of big guys in my life but ya'll can tell me if I'm lying, but have you seen someone that big move that fast? Exactly. It was a great addition to our team," said Balkman.
With the presence of Ramos, Balkman enjoys the luxury of playing in the power forward position again. As head coach Jimmy Alapag expressed, "Balk’s kinda happy because he doesn't have to guard all these big guys. He can give them to PJ and he can go back to his natural position."
The composition of this year's Alab Pilipinas team boasts of youth, speed, and dominance. With the veteran presence of Ramos and Ray Parks Jr. coupled with the enthusiasm of Albano, Rosser, and Tiongson, Balkman is confident that they are well on their way to a competitive title defense.
"Not to take anything away from our veterans, we won a championship with them. But this team right here is special. These young guys, they love to play defense and they play hard each possession. Defense wins championships. They keep a solid mind of defense first, it's gonna be a long season for other teams," Balkman said.
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