SAN Miguel Corp. basketball operations head and current PBA chairman Robert Non expects a hefty fine to be slapped on Petron import Renaldo Balkman in the wake of the horrifying choking incident he had with teammate Arwind Santos on Friday night.
“Tingin ko malaki-laking fine iyun. We won’t be surprised if the fine is above P50,000 kasi may precedent na before,” the San Miguel official told Spin.ph a day after the stunning skirmish that took place in the final 20 seconds of a Commissioner’s Cup game the Boosters lost to the Alaska Aces, 73-83.
“Kasalanan naman niya yun so he has to face the consequences.”
The 6-foot-6 Balkman went wild after failing to get what he thought was a foul committed on him by two Alaska defenders. Initially, he confronted the referees, and later, shoved Petron deputy coach Biboy Ravanes and teammates Ronald Tubid and Arwind Santos as they tried to pacify him.
But to the horror of the late-night crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Balkman grabbed Santos by the neck after the Petron star stepped in to try and pacify him.
Non said he’s set to talk with the energetic Balkman on Monday when the team resumes practice at the Acropolis gym to personally hear the import’s side.
The former member of the Puerto Rican national team is also set to appear before Commissioner Chito Salud later in the day to explain his side on the matter.
Till then, Non said Petron management won’t issue any specific statement yet as to how they intend to deal with the 6-foot-6 import’s sudden burst of temper.
The PBA chairman explained that Balkman’s late-game outburst isn’t as bad compared to past incidents the franchise had with then import Art Long, the 6-foot-7 American likewise known for his bad temper.
“Let’s see what happens siguro sa Monday. We just have to hear him out. Pero `yung ginawa niya (Balkman), di naman ganun ka-grabe, otherwise, na-thrown out na sana siya," said Non.
“Though tinanggap naman niya na mali siya. He did that out of frustration since six points nga lang na-score niya at di siya maka-shoot. But again, di namin ito-tolerate yung ganun.”
Balkman was averaging 28.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in leading Petron to a 5-1 start prior to the big game against Alaska. But the American-Puerto Rican forward was held to just six points on 3-of-16 shooting against the Aces.