MANILA – Gilas Pilipinas is likely to meet a familiar face at the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Cup this August.
Renaldo Balkman, who played for Petron Blaze in the PBA, is one of the mainstays of the Puerto Rican national basketball team which belongs to the same grouping with Gilas in the FIBA Worlds.
The 6-foot-8 import achieved notoriety during the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, which resulted in his lifetime ban from the league.
While averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game with the Boosters, Balkman, who was having an off night against the Alaska Aces, protested a call and ended up grabbing Arwind Santos’ neck.
Balkman has since apologized for his actions.
Puerto Rico, ranked No. 19 in the world, qualified for the FIBA Worlds after finishing second in the 2013 FIBA Americas.
It is not certain, however, if Balkman will be included in their team’s final lineup for the FIBA World Cup.
Also included in their group are second-ranked Argentina, which boasts of NBA players Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili, fifth-ranked Greece, Croatia (16th) and Senegal (41st).