Balkman looks to repay PH fans love despite unceremonious PBA exit with ABL title
Renaldo Balkman is overwhelmed with the warmth of the Filipino fans even after his controversial past. Jerome Ascano

RENALDO Balkman is feeling the love from Filipino basketball fans despite an unceremonious exit in the PBA years back.

Now, he wants to repay them with an Asean Basketball League championship Philippine fans have been craving for from San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.

The 33-year-old Balkman said he appreciated the warm reception of the fans in the Philippines not just at home but also outside the country where Alab has a strong OFW support.

In Alab’s recent home game against Mono Vampire, Balkman was endeared by fans in Baliwag, Bulacan after he scored the game-winning basket late in the fourth, while also defending 7-foot-5 center Samuel Deguara.

“I just let my basketball play show it, you know,” Balkman said. “That’s what I do. I love this game of basketball.”

Balkman was banned in the PBA after an infamous incident in 2013 when he choked teammate Arwind Santos when the two played for Petron.

But now, that incident appears to be a thing of the past as Balkman has been playing his all for the Filipino fans.

“If I show them I can still play hard, play aggressive, play like I play before like I play now. I never lost it. It’s all for them," he said.

The former NBA player recently won the World Import Player of the Week for the second straight week after averaging 33.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks for Alab in two of their victories .

Alab is on a roll, winning seven straight games heading into their match against the Formosa Dreamers on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna and Balkman said giving a championship to the Filipino fans is his goal.

“It’s all for the fans and show them I can still do, give them most wins as possible to win that championship this year. That’s my goal,” said Balkman.

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