UNLESS his ban is lifted or commuted in the future, former Petron import Renaldo Balkman is banned for life from playing in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Pro league officials issued the clarification late on Tuesday to calm down the confusion on social networking sites over misleading reports saying the ban on the temperamental import is only for one year.
Commissioner Chito Salud himself had to reiterate to Spin.ph that Balkman is "banned and blacklisted from playing in the PBA in the future" to correct reports on news websites and television newscasts saying the ban only covers a one-year period.
Even PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial, who made the statement that became the basis for the news reports, said he was merely misinterpreted.
“Ang sabi ko lang naman, siguro kung sa susunod na taon o sa future may makitang pagbabago at baguhin (ang decision), pupuwede yun,” said Marcial.
“Pero wala akong sinabi na one year lang yung ban. Sabi ko pwedeng mabago, kung magde-desisyon ang commissioner,” he added.
Meanwhile, Balkman’s Philippine agent, Sheryl Reyes, bared to Spin.ph that she will file an appeal before the Commissioner's Office separate from the one submitted by San Miguel Corp. on the import's behalf.
“Ina-appeal ko nga, kasi it will affect his international deals,” said Reyes. “Napaka-harsh (naman kasi nung decision). Okay na sa akin yung pauwiin at yung fine eh."
“Lifetime ban? Super naman parang death penalty ang dating. Kasi you take basketball away from somebody as passionate as Balkman, that’s really unfair,” she added.
Reyes said the former New York Knicks wingman is set to leave for the US on Sunday. He will rest for a week there before proceeding to Puerto Rico where he is set to join his Brujos de Guayama team that made him top pick in the 2013 draft of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.
The 6-6 Puerto Rican-American forward, Reyes said, has also attracted interest from the Qingdao team in the Chinese Basketball Association which will open its season in November.