RENALDO Balkman makes his official return to the PBA as San Miguel faces Alaska on Saturday in an out-of-town game at the Lambero Macias Sports Complex in Dumaguete City.
The match starts at 5 p.m., with the Beermen also looking to secure their first win after starting the conference with two losses.
Focus will be on Balkman, playing his first PBA game since 2013 when he choked teammate Arwind Santos against, incidentally, Alaska that led to a lifetime ban.
The was lifted in March.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria is focused on getting on a winning track heading into the All-Star break, especially against an Alaska squad that is in third place with a 3-1 card.
Balkman is coming off a title victory in the Asean Basketball League with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, and Austria is hoping the Beermen be be inspired to finally break out of the slump
“It’s a must-win for us dahil we are up against a very good team right now,” said Austria. “They are playing really well and they have the momentum and we are trying to regroup our team.
“But the possibility is still there na kaya pa rin namin manalo. And with the new import, I think may maiinspire itong mga players namin,” said Austria.
Alaska is aiming to score its fourth straight win and join league-leaders Rain or Shine and TNT (4-1) on top of the standings.