So this means Northern Consolidated Cement Part II?

March 12, 2013 by  

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I guess this article is a bit too late. Former Petron import Renaldo Balkman was summoned by PBA Commissioner Chito Salud and despite his pleas as well as the Petron Blaze Boosters management, Balkman was kicked out of the league for life and with an additional 250,000-peso baggage.

I am an ardent believer that emotionally-charged people stink in concealing their insecurities and Balkman is no exception. The guy is a former NBA player who once scored a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds versus the Los Angeles Clippers in 2009. He is currently representing the Puerto Rico national squad alongside team captains Daniel Santiago (former Phoenix Sun) and NBA journeyman Carlos Arroyo as well as former Washington draftee Peter John Ramos and former Dallas Mav and current Minnesota T-Wolf JJ Barea… before signing up with the Petron Blaze Boosters.

And then he choked Arwind Santos.

If this was a Bruce Lee film:
Most of Bruce Lee’s films centered on nationalism and telling the world that his people are not patsies.

If this was a Tondo-based film:
Teritoryo natin ‘to, gagong yan ah!

I think this was what Salud was trying to prove – no import will lay waste on the foundations of Philippine basketball. Balkman can do thug-like motions in American soil (or even in international play as seen with his antics against Grievis Vasquez) but if we applaud our players for standing up against the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Kobe Bryant, what makes them think that a player like Balkman can do whatever they can to whatever they can to violate our dignity.

This is also the reason why Wynne Arboleda is still playing in the PBA. First up, Arboleda charged at an irate (albeit annoying) fan (sorry but fans should know better than to piss off sweaty, muscular men. And then this is Arboleda primary source of income. Balkman can be an import in a lot of leagues even with the incident but Arboleda won’t. And finally, Arboleda is a Filipino. Wynne will be labeled as PIKON while throughout this ordeal, Balkman was labeled as PERSONA NON GRATA.

Still, Balkman showed class and remorse during the events that transpired after the incident. At least he did so after that classless action. Balkman’s problem is that… hindi siya maawat. All he had to do was to let his teammates stop him and with that he lost his gig.

Now the San Miguel Corporation is trying to pull their weight on the league by threatening to pull out their franchise.

So much for the PBA being a “San Miguel” league!

If this was my 7-year-old version:
Kinuha niya robot ko kaya tinusok ko siya ng ballpen!

If this was Caloy Alde during his stint in Tropang Trumpo:
Kinagat ako ng aso niyo. Kaya ayun… kinain ko pagkain niya!

A player represents his organization if he wears their colors. If you check out the online reports all over the world, Balkman was labeled as former New York Knick and current PETRON Blaze Booster. Petron is one of best known gasoline companies in the country and has stakes all over Asia. Every time their name is seen alongside Balkman, they get flak. All PBA teams yearn for high revenues and recall whenever they play in the PBA. Tambays choose Ginebra because this is the team their players play. Unlike San Miguel, Ginebra can’t stand alone and had to rely on chicks in their swimsuits. San Mig Coffee is like a testing zone for San Miguel products like B-Meg because Purefoods bar none one of the most important brands in the country today.

San Miguel has every reason to pull out their product if they are interested to put positive vibes on their corporation again.

But they won’t.

And here’s why.

First of all, San Miguel is one of the staple squads of the league. San Miguel is an original member while Ginebra started in 1979 and Purefoods in 1988. They have played in a lot of championship games and has captured at least 40 percent of the available haul.

Second of all, their pullout will spark the rest of the brands that San Miguel kept away because they have the “same” brand as them. We all know Asia Brewery will sink their teeth in the spoils and teams like Duty Free Philippines, SM Holdings, and Phoenix Fuel could join in. These brands haven’t exposed their products because they have no avenue to put it in and this could be the start of the growth.

And finally, the fate of all the SMC players will be a curious case. I can’t see all the good players playing import to ABL teams as an all-star caliber beefs up the San Miguel Beermen-ABL squad. Or better yet, maybe they can rename their squad Northern Consolidated Cement Part Two! Imagine – this is the team fans are drooling on! Tim Cone takes helm and Alfrancis Chua and Olsen Racela would act as deputies with Mark Caguioa and James Yap sharing shooting duties, Alex Cabagnot and LA Tenorio acting as playmakers, Arwind Santos and Marc Pingris and as well as Jay Washington and Joe Devance playing the dual positions and Junmar Fajardo and even current ABL player Asi Taulava playing the center spots. And for the eleventh and twelfth picks – maybe we can have a tossup between Chris Banchero, Marcio Lassiter, Ronald Tubid, Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, Chris Lutz, Peter June Simon, Dylan Ababou, Jayjay Helterbrand, Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril, Yancy De Ocampo, and others.

Yes my friends… it’s that good.

But would these guys love the career path they will be headed?

Fact is it won’t.

Just like in the first Smart-Gilas, many will step out of the squad to go to teams that would give them more exposure. Yap and Caguioa, two players who gets at least 30 minutes per game will have less time to create their shots while none of these gents would want to average laughable two points and one rebound per game.

And for those loving the idea of a return of a MBA-like squad – it depends on the budget, the teams involved, the players, and the broadcast carrier. To those who think “conduits” like Air21 and Barako Bull would join the San Miguel squads, I think this is impossible. I know the Lina franchise is no stranger to the affairs of MetroBall but the Laguna Lakers, the first chance they got to snag a PBA franchise, went ahead and never looked back in their erstwhile league. The PBA has had history and judging from the careers of the PBA players that moved to the MBA, none of them got the careers they wanted to continue (although Bong Ravena and Ato Agustin played well in their first season back to the PBA).

I just heard in the news that Balkman can return to the league if he undergoes attitude change and perhaps go into anger management. That… my friends… is a way for the league to appease the San Miguel magnate. This backtracking of a powerful statement is a terrible way to relent a decision but maybe the Commissioner’s Office has enough reason to lift the order. Given the shame this stint brought Balkman, he’ll likely stay away from the Philippines. Imagine in his first game back and people boo him out of the arena. With the mental state he was in, it will be hard for him to forget the severity of his actions.

Game over.

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