PBA commissioner Willie Marcial OK to welcome back Balkman on one condition

Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2018 08:30 PM | Updated as of Sep 18 2018 11:54 AM

Renaldo Balkman's stellar play for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League has been an audition of sorts for a potential PBA return. Courtesy of ASEAN Basketball League Facebook

San Miguel Alab Pilipinas player Renaldo Balkman has been vocal about his intention to return to the PBA, and commissioner Willie Marcial said he has no problem reversing the ban imposed on him.

The only condition Marcial set is for Balkman to reach out to the commissioner who blacklisted him from the league and apologize to him personally.

"Kung um-OK si comm Chito (Salud), then kausapin ako (ni Balkman), baket hindi?" Marcial told ABS-CBN News on Tuesday.

"Ayokong mawalan ng trabaho sinuman. Basta um-OK si comm Chito, why not? Nakakahiya naman sa mga sinilbihan nating commissioner kung magde-decide tayo without their permission."

Marcial said Balkman's representatives have approached him about their client's status and the PBA boss responded by saying the league would be open to taking him back if Salud were OK with it.

Salud banned Balkman for life and fined him P250,000 after an outburst in a 2013 Commissioner's Cup game led to him fighting Petron teammates, team staff and game officials. 

His chokehold on Arwind Santos has been that incident's most indelible image.

Santos has since forgiven Balkman, and Balkman has said he wants to sit down with Santos and put closure on that ugly episode.

Balkman, along with Justin Brownlee, has been instrumental in Alab's remarkable campaign in the ASEAN Basketball League. 

Alab, in the middle of a 7-game winning streak, is third in the standings with a 10-4 record.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)