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Balkman banned from the PBA, fined P250k

March 11, 2013 3:10pm

(Updated 3:29pm) Petron Blaze Booster import Renaldo Balkman has been banned from the league and hit with a P250,000 fine, PBA commissioner Chito Salud announced Monday.

Such was the stiff penalty "for initiating threatening physical contact with a referee followed by a prolonged, offensive, belligerent if not aberrant on-court decorum directed towards game officials and his Petron team mates and superiors, including the head coach and assistant coaches, amounting to a blatant and utter disrespect for the game, his own ball club, the Leauge, the fans and the host country," according to the league's official release.

Salud added that he "took into consideration Balkman's track record as a player," citing a head-butting incident during a FIBA-Americas game between Puerto Rico, the country plays for, and Venezuela, as well as an altercation during a preseason tournament in Cebu, also against the same Alaska Aces team his side faced off against, which led to Friday's incident.

The commissioner also added, "I do encourage passion for the game, but I also want to firmly instill a culture of accountability among our players.

"If one does something that violates the rules and the norms of sportsmanship and decent behavior, he will be made accountable."

A former first round NBA draft pick, Balkman threw a fit of rage late in his side's 83-73 loss to the Alaska Aces last Friday, after scoring just six points on 3-of-16 shooting, missing all four of his free throws to boot. He initially went to all three referees to demonstrate what he thought was a foul committed on him by his counterpart Robert Dozier. After getting a technical foul and continuing to complain, his teammates tried to pull him away, which led to the unfortunate events.

After apologizing on Twitter Friday, and during a live interview in-between the broadcast of Sunday's PBA games, Balkman was accompanied to the commissioner's office by his teammates and coaching staff.

"We're here as a family in report for Rey [Balkman]," said team coach Olsen Racela, prior to the meeting between the commissioner and the import. "He's been with us the past two months. We know the kind of person he is."

Petron's next game is scheduled for Saturday, March 16, versus the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Panabo, Davao Del Norte. The team is currently in solo third place with a 5-2 record, a loss behind the 5-1 Elasto Painters. - AMD, GMA News

The full official statement, courtesy of the PBA:

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