Returning import Renaldo Balkman wants no less than a championship victory with the San Miguel Beermen in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Commissioner’s Cup.
“I feel great and it is great to be back in the PBA. It is been a long time but I’m here now, and I really want to win the championship that is my main goal and why I’m here. It’s show time,” Balkman told reporters after San Miguel Beer’s practice session on Wednesday at the Acropolis gym in Libis, Quezon City.
Balkman replaced original SMB import Troy Gillenwater who was ejected out of last Sunday’s game for bumping into referee Rey Yante. The Beermen lost that match to Rain or Shine 119-123, while Gillenwater was slapped wit a P20,000 fine.
“In the ABL (Asean Basketball League), I got my focus and we won the championship. Now, we’ll take every game one by one and let’s see what will happen,” said Balkman.
The 6’8 Puerto Rican cager added that physicality is a given in a sport like basketball.
“I played in a lot of leagues. Physicality is there wherever you go so it doesn’t matter to me. I played in Puerto Rico and there’s a physicality too. It’s the same thing,”
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said that he expects Balkman to blend well with his teammates.
“Renaldo Balkman has played with many teams and he can adjust. He has a high basketball IQ too. The Beermen are ready to fight with or without an import, what more now that we have somebody like Balkman. He can play at No. 4 and No. 5 or sometimes at No. 3,” said Austria in separate interview.
“But the good thing is his leadership quality and his winning attitude. He wants to finish an unfinished business,” added Austria who’s not bothered by the team’s 0-2 win-loss record.
Balkman and San Miguel Beer will face Alaska on Saturday in Dumaguete City.