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Arwind glad to see Balkman get second chance in PH basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Though they were teammates for less than two months, Renaldo Balkman and Arwind Santos will be forever linked by the shocking incident that led to the import's banishment from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Balkman was a high-profile signing for Petron Blaze in January 2013, as the team relied on the former New York Knick to lead them in the Commissioner's Cup. He delivered on the court, averaging 25 points and over 13 rebounds per game for the Blaze Boosters.

But Filipino fans are more likely to remember Balkman not for his on-court production but for his incredible meltdown in a March 8, 2013 game against Alaska. On that fateful night, Balkman lost his cool, arguing with referees, assistant coaches, and teammates. His meltdown culminated when he tried to choke Santos.

The backlash was swift: Balkman was fined P250,000 and banned from the PBA. He would not make it back to the Philippines until nearly five years later, when he signed with Alab Pilipinas as one of its world imports in the ASEAN Basketball League.

So far, Balkman has been keeping his cool and producing at a high level for Alab Pilipinas. He has teamed up with Justin Brownlee – Ginebra's much-loved import – to lead Alab to two victories, and is averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks per game.

Photo: TiebreakerTimes
Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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