Balkman told underachieving Petron Boosters the PBA's version of woeful Lakers
New Petron import Renaldo Balkman says he knows a lot of Filipinos in the US who keep him updated about news in the pro league. renaldobalkman32.com

THE Petron Boosters as the PBA’s version of the Los Angeles Lakers?

At least, that’s the kind of feedback import Renaldo Balkman has heard about the talented team he’ll be playing for in next month’s Commissioner’s Cup.

“Somebody (in the States) told me that they are the Lakers (of the PBA),” said Balkman of the Boosters upon his arrival in the country on Sunday.

“They have the stars, but lack chemistry,” the 28-year-old Staten Island New York native quickly added. “But you don’t believe everything you hear. I just take it for what it is.”

But the six-year NBA veteran is certainly aware of Petron’s championship pedigree, and has even heard about the Boosters’ emphatic championship win over Talk `N Text two seasons ago in the Governors Cup that denied the Tropang Texters a rare Grand Slam.

“One game at a time,” was his short reply when asked about steering the franchise to yet another championship.

Balkman disclosed he and other NBA stars are well aware of the PBA, saying he is very familiar with Philippine basketball and Asia’s pioneering pro league as well.

He even agreed with the notion among former imports that Filipino basketball players are cat-quick, agile, and explosive similar to other American pros, but sans the height.

“Yeah, we talk about it,” said Balkman, who had tour of duties with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, and whose coaches include ex-PBA imports Fred Lewis and Chris Ward.

The Petron import also acknowledged having deep knowledge of Filipino culture, since as he claims, “I know a lot of Filipinos back in the States.”

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