Balkman banned from playing in PBA

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Monday, March 11, 2013


MANILA—PBA Commissioner Chito Salud showed that when it comes to violence on the court, he won’t balk against punishing players, even someone of Renaldo Balkman’s caliber.

The PBA commissioner handed the Petron Blaze Boosters import a lifetime ban and fined him for P250,000 for his bizarre behavior in their game against the Alaska Aces last Friday.

In the final minutes of that loss, which was Petron’s first after a five-game winning streak, the former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets player approached all three match officials, shoved an assistant coach and two teammates.

When Arwind Santos tried to pacify him, he pushed Santos back and then tried to choke him.

In a decision that came after his meeting with the PBA import, Salud said, “For initiating threatening physical contact with a referee followed by a prolonged, offensive, belligerent if not aberrant on-court decorum ...import Renaldo Balkman is hereby meted the following penalties : 1. Ban from playing in the Philippine Basketball Association; and 2. A fine of P250,000.”

The PBA top honcho also considered Balkman’s behavior during a pre-season game against Alaska in Cebu City and his previous record of head-butting while playing for Puerto Rico against Venezuela in the FIBA-Americas qualifying tournament.

“I do encourage passion for the game but I also want to firmly instill a culture of accountability among our players. If one does something that violates the rules and the norms of sportsmanship and decent behavior, he will be made accountable,” Salud added. “The value of accountability is important for me to uphold at all times. I think it is key to this league’s continued success, the development of our players’ maturity and to their role as models to our fans, especially the youth.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 12, 2013.

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