Send 'hotheaded' import home, urge PBA icons
“Grabe yun. Ang tagal kong lumaro sa PBA. Ang dami kong nakitang bastos at walang hiyang import, pero walang nanakit ng kakampi nila,” says former Ginebra star Marlou Aquino. Jerome Ascano

TWO PBA icons, one of them voted among the 25 Greatest Players in history, are urging for the immediate dismissal of Renaldo Balkman as Petron Blaze import.

Kenneth Duremdes and Marlou Aquino both see no reason why the former New York Knick should stay on with the Boosters after fighting his own teammates near the endgame of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup duel against Alaska Aces Friday night, including a choke hold on star player Arwind Santos.

“Grabe yun. Ang tagal kong lumaro sa PBA. Ang dami kong nakitang bastos at walang hiyang import, pero walang nanakit ng kakampi nila,” said the 6-foot-9 Aquino, an active member of the players’ union during his heydays, in a talk with Spin.ph.

“Dapat pauuwiin yun, wala nang reason para ipanatili pa siya dito,” said Duremdes, the 1998 league MVP. “He created his mess, lahat ng nangyaring yun, siya ang may dahilan lahat. Wala naman talagang foul eh.”

The 28-year-old American-Puerto Rican lost his temper in the final 20 seconds of the Boosters’ 73-83 loss to the Aces after he failed to get a call from game officials following a double team on him by import Robert Dozier and Cyrus Baguio.

Balkman shoved every teammates who tried to pacify him including Ronald Tubid and Santos, with whom he later engaged in a shoving incident before making a choke hold on him to the disbelief of the crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

While Balkman already apologized to the entire team – including to Santos and his family – Aquino was firm in his belief the import should be sent packing.

“Hindi na dapat bigyan ng second chance yan,” Aquino demanded. “Kung nagawa niya sa superstar ng Petron yan, paano pa yung mababang kakampi niya.”

The former Ginebra franchise player also renewed a call to support his fellow Filipino players.

“Dapat `yung mga active players ngayon, magka-isa. Huwag nilang hayaan na may (taong) ganyan sa liga,” said Aquino. “Nagawa niyang manakit ng kakampi, baka sa susunod may iba pang gawin iyan.

“Kung ano ang gagawin na hakbang ng active players, susuportahan namin sila,” added the center out of Adamson, who also called for the reactivation of the players’ union.

Duremdes said it was obvious Balkman has an attitude problem.

“Baka kaya hindi siya nagtagal sa NBA, ito ang rason. May attitude problem siya," added Duremdes, who incidentally, did the pre-game and post-game coverage of the match.

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