Inspiration & Sports

Renaldo Balkman, Big Boost To Petron

Petron has been blitzing its opponents the past two games since dropping a close two-point loss to Globalport during the opener of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on February 8.

The Boosters bounced back by demolishing reigning Commissioner’s Cup champions San Mig Coffee Mixers, 98-73, before shutting the throng of Barangay Ginebra’s fans via a 105-90 victory Sunday (Feb. 17) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In both victories, import Renaldo Balkman was the biggest difference.

Balkman NYKThe 6’8″ Balkman scattered 28 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, issued five assists and added two blocks in their 25-point rout of the Mixers. He then followed up his explosive performance with 30 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against the disoriented Gin Kings.

But while the Boosters are thrashing their opponents with reckless abandon, Petron rookie coach Olsen Racela remains low-key in his team’s momentum.

“Still a long way after two wins.  It’s a process but we’re getting there,” said Racela.

“Nagkakakumpiyansa kami ngayon with the way we’re playing and the wins. But once we go through adversity, that’s where we see gaano ka close yung team. Right now, we’re winning. Pero matagal pa yung laban,” he added.

Balkman has led the Boosters in scoring in three starts. But the former Denver Nugget and New York Knick forward is quick to deflect the credit to his teammates.

“There’s no ‘I’ in the team. We just play together,” Balkman said after earning his second straight Best Player of the Game honors.

With the way things are going, it sure looks like Petron is rising as a serious title challenger against San Mig Coffee.

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