Santos wants Balkman back in PBA: 'Everyone deserves a second chance' | Inquirer Sports

Santos wants Balkman back in PBA: ‘Everyone deserves a second chance’

/ 04:45 PM January 09, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Five years removed from the infamous choking incident, Arwind Santos wishes nothing but the best for his former teammate Renaldo Balkman in his stint with Tanduay Alab Pilipinas in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League.

“We know how good Balkman is. I can’t say anything more because he’s really good ever since,” Santos said in Filipino.


READ: Balkman returns to Philippine basketball as Alab import


Balkman made headlines in 2013 when he strangled Santos during a PBA game that merited the Puerto Rican forward, who was the import of Petron back then, a lifetime ban in the league.

But it’s now water under the bridge now for Santos, reiterating that they had already made amends then. He also hopes that everyone would also forgive Balkman.

“I’m over it long time ago. I even supported him to continue playing for us, but the PBA had already decided at that time. It’s nothing to me now. I’ve been through a lot and I know that we shouldn’t be holding any ill will towards anyone,” he said.

“You can’t please everyone. It may be five years, 10 years, but some still can’t forget what happened. But I’m asking them to forgive him because he’s also a person who makes mistakes. He’s not a criminal and he’s still a good person.”

So far, Balkman is making the most out of his opportunity, averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.0 blocks in his first two games – both of which ending in victories – for Alab.

READ: Balkman, Brownlee lead Alab to back to back wins


Santos is expecting more from the former NBA veteran, saying that coach Jimmy Alapag has a gem in the 33-year-old workhorse.

“He’s an NBA-caliber player and has a wealth of experience. He also played for the national team. So I think he can really help the team,” he said.

As for Balkman’s possible return in the PBA, Santos said that he would gladly vouch for the lifetime ban to be lifted, except for one condition.

“I’m fine with him returning, but I wish he’ll play for us. If it’s for the other team, I say no,” said the San Miguel forward with a big grin.

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“He’s really a good player. And everyone deserves a second chance and maybe, a third chance. It doesn’t mean that he’ll make the same mistake again. But if he does that again, that’s a different story.”

TAGS: 2018 ASEAN Basketball League, Arwind Santos, Renaldo Balkman, San Miguel Beermen, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas

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