Balkman completes redemption, and he has Alapag to thank for it

Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Final venues set for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paralympics “We’re going to see in a week or so. Let’s see what happens next and we’ll go from there,” he said.But this early, Alapag is giving Balkman his stamp of approval.“Whichever team is smart enough — it can be here, it can be anywhere else around the world. The team that’s smart enough to get this guy, I’m telling you, you just put yourself in a position to win a championship,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:48Balkman puts negativity behind ahead of 2nd PBA stint with San Miguel00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo from ASEAN Basketball LeagueSTA. ROSA — Renaldo Balkman came back to the Philippines looking to rewrite his checkered past and on Wednesday he got a fitting ending to his road to redemption.The Puerto Rican emerged as an unlikely hero after steering San Miguel Alab Pilipinas to the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League championship with a 102-92 Game 5 triumph on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ MOST READ He made sure he got the prime billing, pouring his heart out with his statline of 32 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals for a performance to remember.“That was a dream come true for me,” he proudly said, looking back on the tough path he had to go through before getting the green light to return to Philippine shores.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownBalkman has gotten accustomed to fielding questions about his past, especially the darkest chapter of his career when he snapped and choked then-Petron teammate Arwind Santos back in 2013 which led to his infamous lifetime ban from the PBA.“It’s been five years since I last played here and I didn’t think I was coming back,” he admitted. LATEST STORIES But he’s a changed man now, and little did Balkman know that his conversation with Jimmy Alapag in the 2014 Fiba World Cup would open the door for him to earn back the respect of the Filipinos.“He told me that if he got a job as a head coach, he’s gonna bring me to play,” he recounted. “I was still contemplating on my career and I got a phone call one day and it was Jimmy. Out of the blue, he’s like, ‘Come play, man.’ I’m like, ‘I’m on my way.’ One thing about him is he’s a man of his word and he kept his word, so I thank you, Jimmy.”Balkman acknowledged that not everyone can move on from that debacle, but just like what Alapag gave him in San Miguel Alab, all he’s hoping for is a chance —  a chance to show what he’s made of and a chance to prove that he’s a better man.“Past is past with me,” he said. “We won a championship, let it be known, and let us celebrate our championship.”So, is a return trip to the PBA on the horizon for Balkman? He remains non-committal about it.ADVERTISEMENT View comments