Die-hard San Miguel fans hoping to see Renaldo Balkman join the team will have their wishes fulfilled on Saturday when the Puerto Rican import is expected to join the Beermen against the streaking Alaska Aces in Dumaguete City.
Balkman, according to a source, will be joining the San Miguel Beermen for practice Wednesday morning.
"Balkman's papers are now being processed and he'll definitely join the team's practice [Wednesday]," the source told ESPN5 Tuesday.
The 33-year-old former New York Knicks forward will be coming in to replace Troy Gillenwater, who failed to impress the management after the Beermen opened the Honda PBA Commissioner's Cup with back-to-back losses to Meralco and Rain or Shine.
Gillenwater debuted for the Beermen with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and five turnovers but SMB fell to the Bolts, 93-85.
The New Mexico alum's second outing ended prematurely after being ejected in the first half for "physically contacting an official."
June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos led the Beermen but eventually fell to Rain or Shine in overtime, 123-119 on Sunday in Antipolo.
Balkman, the many-time Puerto Rican national player, is fresh from helping Alab Pilipinas win the 2018 Asean Basketball League championship. Aside from the ABL championship, the Puerto Rican reinforcement was also named Defensive Player of the Year, concluding his season stint with per-game averages of 24.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 blocks.
The 6-foot-6 Balkman's PBA return was made possible after league commissioner Willie Marcial officially lifted the lifetime ban slapped on him for choking Arwind Santos in 2013 in the Commissioner's Cup when the team was still known as Petron.