Former PBA import Balkman tangles with Gilas aces
SEVILLE, Spain—Renaldo Balkman swears that he loves the Philippines, but vowed to go all out when Puerto Rico and Gilas Pilipinas—both struggling in Group B play in the Fiba World Cup with 0-2 cards—go at each other’s throat Wednesday.
Balkman had gone for one throat in an impressive albeit very brief stint in the PBA in 2013, when he choked teammate Arwind Santos that led to his lifetime ban.
“No hard feelings,” Balkman said of the ban. “I love Manila and I love the Philippines. But I will treat it as like any other game.”
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Greece and Gilas Pilipinas walked off the court on Sunday (Monday morning in Manila) with bitter feelings toward each other.
Both squads had to be separated at midcourt after the game, with the 5-foot-8 LA Tenorio and the 7-foot-1 Giannis Bourousis engaging in a heated argument.
Coach Chot Reyes felt slighted after Greece went for baskets even when the outcome had already been decided and after Greek coach Fotis Katikaris called the Philippine brand of play “dangerous.”
Tenorio got 6-foot-6 swingman Kostas Papanikolaou on all fours with under two minutes left with a shot to the abdomen, something which Bourousis saw and wanted to give back to the wily Philippine sentinel after the game. Musong R. Castillo
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