PBA: Balkman makes triumphant return to San Miguel Beer
Paul Lintag on May 15, 2018 03:25 PM
Balkmania is back in the PBA after five years.
Five years after his first PBA stint ended in controversial fashion, Renaldo Balkman is back in the league, replacing Troy Gillenwater as import of defending champion San Miguel Beer in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup.
Local sports agent Sheryl Reyes confirmed the development Tuesday.
This is it .. the much awaited comeback #confirmed the cat is out the bag Renaldo Balkman will be the next import of Smb .. he will be seen at practice tom 🔥💯💋 #miraclesdohappen #journeybegins pic.twitter.com/PufumqiWzH— Sheryl Sanchez Reyes (@FemaleAgentSR) May 15, 2018
Balkman, who played for Petron Blaze in 2013, received a lifetime ban from the PBA for an incident that included him choking teammate Arwind Santos.
The Puerto Rican import has since made his return to the country this year, suiting up for San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the ABL. He helped steer the Jimmy Alapag-coached team to the title after beating Mono Vampire in five games.
He averaged 24.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.7 blocks in Alab's championship run. He was also named co-Defensive Player of the Year.
In the middle of his stint with Alab, Balkman's PBA ban was lifted, allowing him to return to the league.
His rights remained with the Beermen and after Gillenwater's underwhelming start, leading to San Miguel falling to an early 0-2 hole, Balkman is officially back.
Balkman is expected to start practicing with the Beermen on Wednesday before making his conference debut against Alaska on Saturday.
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