Olsen Racela wants to give him a second chance. Chito Salud wants to give him ‘due process’. Most fans want him out of the league. After his meltdown late in the Petron Blaze Boosters’ loss against the Alaska Aces, PBA import and former NBA first-round pick Renaldo Balkman should be sent home.
The guy was clearly frustrated and was out of control, lashing out and choking teammate (and Petron co-captain) Arwind Santos, who was only trying to calm him down and prevent things from escalating because the former Knick and Nugget won’t stop shouting at the refs.
InterAKTV even wrote an article describing the incident as “forgettable.” No, it wasn’t written like it was a quote from Racela himself, so I’m taking it as the writer’s opinion. Is it really forgettable? Maybe, sure, we’ll forget about this in a few days and just have a laugh about it when remembered eventually.
However, if the PBA wants to be taken seriously, there should be no place for shit like this. It’s bad enough we’re relying on draft busts to keep the games exciting; when they start disrespecting the officials and even their own teammates, they should be shipped out ASAP.
Is the Philippines’ pro hoops league really THAT starved for basketball talent that we can’t let guys like this walk when they do something bad? I didn’t like the PBA’s decision to revert to the old 3-conference format, in which two conferences had imports. We don’t need reinforcements for our teams who will dominate the ball, taking away precious playing time for at least one of the starters.
Sure, some imports are taken as complementary players from time to time, but almost always, we’re looking at imports who play the whole game and are expected to produce at least 20 and 10 each night. Our own superstars take a backseat to these foreign cagers so we can watch them chuck shots and dunk around. As a Filipino hoops fan, the very idea of having 66.67% of the PBA’s schedule dominated by imports is more than a little humiliating.
It gets even more embarassing when guys like Balkman prance around the league acting like they f-ing own the place. These guys are lucky enough to be playing in the PBA, where imports are pampered by the management and usually have their way in the team’s game plan. Now we’re enabling them by not being stern when it comes to incidents like this.
Olsen Racela and Petron, and by extension the PBA, needs to send guys like Balkman a message. Otherwise, it’s just one big embarrassment. For a team and a league that wants to be taken seriously, this isn’t exactly the kind of thing that’s going to help.
By the way, if you haven’t seen the incident yet, here’s a clip: