Balkman fuel behind Petron’s surge


Renaldo Balkman (left)

MANILA, Philippines—Just how good Petron Blaze’s import Renaldo Balkman is?

Head coach Olsen Racela said Balkman is versatile enough to guard multiple positions.

“That’s how great a defender Renaldo is. He can defend the point guard up to the center of any team,” marvelled Racela.

And Balkman’s multifaceted game was in full display Sunday night in the Boosters’ 91-78 win over the Barako Bull Energy Cola.

The six-foot-six forward posted 33 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and four steals.

What impresses Racela more is his intensity and unwavering motor.

“He’s been the catalyst, his energy has rubbed on to his teammates,” said Racela.

“I play every game like it’s my last. I can be the shortest import but I’ve got the biggest heart,” Balkman, the 20th overall pick by the New York Knicks in the 2006 NBA Draft, said. “When I’m on the court that’s what I am.”

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