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Balkman sees Alab stint as chance for redemption

MANILA – In the Philippines, Renaldo Balkman is best remembered for his meltdown during his stint with the Petron Blaze Boosters, an incident that got him banned from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

When he was hired during the 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Balkman's arrival was celebrated by Petron Blaze fans who believed that he could help the team win another championship. The former member of the New York Knicks was solid inside the court, averaging 25 points and 13.4 rebounds for the Blaze Boosters.

Puerto Rico's Renaldo Balkman scores a point during the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying basketball match between Puerto Rico and Angola at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on July 5, 2016. Pedja Milosavljevic, AFP
His PBA stint came to a screeching halt in March 2013, however, when Balkman suffered an intense meltdown during a game against the Alaska Aces. After failing to get the call that he wanted, Balkman wound up shoving referees, assistant coaches, and even a teammate. The shocking incident culminated with the former NBA player attempting to choke Arwind Santos.

He was subsequently fined half a million pesos and banned from the league, though he made sure to apologize for his actions before leaving.

Five years later, Balkman is back in the Philippines. This time, he will be playing for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League, where he will team up with Ginebra's resident import, Justin Brownlee.

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