Forgiven Puerto Rican basketball star Renaldo Balkman will once again be playing in the PBA, after the San Miguel Beermen tapped his services for their remaining games in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.
This development was confirmed through a tweet by Sheryl Reyes, the agent of Balkman, who said that the basketball star will start practicing with the PBA team on May 16.
Balkman, who arrived at the Philippines last May 14, will be replacing Troy Gillenwater, who was ejected during the Beermen’s recent game against Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last May 13, at Ynares Sports Arena, Antipolo City, for hitting a referee.
In 2013, then PBA Commissioner Chito Salud placed a lifetime ban against Balkman after the import choked his teammate Arwind Santos in the middle of the game, due to frustration.
After five years, this decision was overturned by current PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial after Balkman, through a letter, apologized for his previous actions, and getting permission from both Santos and Salud.
Recently, Balkman also helped Alab Pilipinas in winning the championship in the eighth ASEAN Basketball League, and was even co-awarded as Defensive Player of the Year.
The import averaged 24.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in his stint with Alab.
Reports that Gillenwater will be replaced as import of San Miguel became widespread after the team’s head coach Leo Austria revealed that they are not impressed with the American basketball star.
Currently, the Beermen has failed to secure their first win after two games in the mid-season conference.
Meanwhile, the PBA has also decided to impose a Php 20,000 fine to Gillenwater for ‘physically contacting an official’ during the previous game of the Beermen.