MANILA, Philippines—Following Petron Blaze import Renaldo Balkman’s lifetime ban in the PBA, San Miguel Corp. has decided “to re-evaluate the company’s continued participation in the PBA.”
In a statement, the SMC group, which owns three storied franchises Barangay Ginebra, Petron and San Mig Coffee, said Balkman’s choking incident “has been blown out of proportion and has damaged our good name.”
“Already, news of the incident has spread throughout the country and overseas through traditional and online media. Our reputation is of utmost importance to us because we have worked hard to cultivate this good name through the decades. But it takes only one unfortunate incident like this to undo all our efforts.”
The group also handed out apologies to the fans and the PBA for Balkman’s actions and said it accepts PBA Commissioner Chito Salud’s decision.
“We do not condone his actions. The mandate of our basketball operations has always been to entertain basketball fans and foster camaraderie and a spirit of healthy competition. We pride ourselves in having great teams who serve as good role models to the youth and community.”
“As such, given the possible long-term effect of this incident to the San Miguel organization’s image, and in consideration of our need to preserve our good reputation, Management has decided to re-evaluate the company’s continuing participation in the PBA.”
“Moving forward, we believe sports is a pillar of Philippine society and we will continue to support it and Filipino athletes in general in meaningful ways in and out of the PBA.”