MANILA, Philippines - Lifetime ban.
Ruling on the choking incident last Friday, March 8, 2013, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has banned Petron Blaze Boosters import Renaldo Balkman from playing in the league.
The NBA veteran will also be asked to pay a fine of Php 250,000.
In the official statement, Salud said he took into consideration Balkman's track record as a player.
Here's the full statement.
Balkman, visibly frustrated over the officiating in their last game against the Alaska Aces where they lost by 10 points, 83-73, took out his anger shoving away coach Biboy Ravanes and teammate Ronald Tubid.
Boosters' team captain Arwind Santos stepped in to calm the former NBA veteran down but Balkman ended up holding Arwind by the neck.
Balkman and Santos have made amends, appearing together on live television where the former apologized and insisted that "he is not that guy."
Santos asked the PBA, its fans, and the public in general to give the import a second chance.
Balkman was summoned to the Commissioner's office on Monday, March 11, 2013 to give him the chance to be heard. He was accompanied by entire Petron team as a show of support.
Balkman graciously accepted the decision thanking fans and his teammates for the support.
I accept all responsibilities for my actions while playing an intense game, I have truly enjoyed my time here playing in the Philippines — Renaldo Balkman (@R_Balkman32) March 11, 2013
I respect the Philippine Basketball Association and @ petronblaze Organization, this situation will never happen again...its a lesson learned — Renaldo Balkman (@R_Balkman32) March 11, 2013
Netizens weighed in on the PBA's decision, most of them saying the import deserved the stiff penalty.
storify.com/rappler/thoughts-on-the-lifetime-ban-on-petro-import-renal.js "> cript>[ storify.com/rappler/thoughts-on-the-lifetime-ban-on-petro-import-renal " target="_blank" View the story "Thoughts on the lifetime ban on Petro import Renaldo Balkman" on Storify ] oscript>
Do you agree with the PBA or do you think the league was too hard on the energetic import? Let us know in the comments below. - Rappler.com