PBA: Balkman joins San Miguel in practice a day after reinstatement
Paul Lintag on May 16, 2018 12:43 PM
Renaldo Balkman is back!
Now it feels like Renaldo Balkman's PBA return is truly official.
The Puerto Rican import joined San Miguel practice for the first time Wednesday, just a day after he was reinstated following a five-year hiatus.
Renaldo Balkman is back! pic.twitter.com/lsjl8ftVYd— Camille B. Naredo (@camillenaredo) May 16, 2018
Balkman joins SMB practice for the first time. He will be their import when the Beermen play Alaska on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/NxSC543bDs— Camille B. Naredo (@camillenaredo) May 16, 2018
Balkman and Santos, the reunion tour pic.twitter.com/JwbocPqOPA— Camille B. Naredo (@camillenaredo) May 16, 2018
With the defending champion Beermen falling to a winless start in the Commissioner's Cup, the flagship SMC franchise opted to replace Troy Gillenwater for Balkman, the team's previously controversial import.
Balkman played for Petron Blaze back in 2013 but received a lifetime ban from the league following an incident that included him choking teammate Arwind Santos.
The ban was lifted this year and Balkman was rejoined Santos back in San Miguel.
Before his PBA ban was ultimately lifted, Balkman's return to the Philippines came via the ABL as he played for San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas.
The Jimmy Alapag-coached crew ended up winning the title with Balkman earning co-Defensive Player of the Year honors.
San Miguel takes on the Alaska Aces for Balkman's first game back on Saturday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8