RENALDO Balkman is offering his stint in the 2019 Jones Cup to his late agent Sheryl Reyes, who passed away due to cancer last May.
Balkman will be one of Mighty's five imports in the annual Chinese-Taipei tournament - his first since Reyes' death. No wonder he was emotional in his latest tour of duty with a Philippine team.
“That hurt me a lot, man,” Balkman admitted to SPIN.ph on Tuesday after practice with Mighty Sports. “I was here when she came back and then I left to go home. As soon as I got home, the first couple of days, I wanted to see her before I left but I couldn’t.”
“It’s bad but everything I do now while I’m in the Philippines, I’m going to tell you now, is for her. No matter what it is like it’s going to be for her,” he added.
Balkman started playing in the Philippines with Petron in the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, where he received a lifetime ban from then commissioner Chito Salud for choking teammate Arwind Santos during a game.
Balkman said he will be forever grateful to Reyes for helping get the ban lifted, setting the stage for his return to the San Miguel camp.
Balkman later teamed up with another prized Reyes recruit, Justin Brownlee, to lead San Miguel Alab Pilipinas to the 2018 Asean Basketball League (ABL) title.
“She got me here. It’s a blessing for her to get me here, do all the things that I did and got me back. I love her to death. She will always be with me. She’s going to watch over me. I’m here now. Like I said, whatever I do in the Philippines, it’s for her. Long live Sheryl,” said Balkman.
“It’s emotional for me talking about it. I’m getting goose bumps. At the end of the day, like I said, she blessed me. I got my blessing. It’s time to bless her back,” said Balkman.