Renaldo Balkman may arguably be one of the most talented players to ever step foot on an ABL court. The former New York Knick was a midseason acquisition for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in January of 2018.
The then-struggling Alab brought the talented forward in to help them turn their season around and get back to contention. Balkman did not disappoint.
Along with Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Justin Brownlee, Balkman led the Filipino squad to the third seed heading to the Playoffs. In the first round, Balkman and Alab Pilipinas swept the Saigon Heat in two games to advance to the semifinals. Awaiting them were the defending champions, Hong Kong Eastern.
Balkman continued his stellar play against the team from Hong Kong — scoring 46 points in the first game of the series. And just like in the Quarters, Alab Pilipinas swept Eastern and moved on to the Finals. The Puerto Rican Balkman averaged 33.5 points per game in the series.
In the Finals, the newly-crowd Co-Defensive Player of the Year faced his hardest match-up yet. The 6’8″ Renaldo Balkman had to guard the 7’5″ behemoth Sam Deguara for most of the time.
The series lasted for 5 highly-competitive games with Alab Pilipinas ending up as the victors. Balkman finished the series with averages of 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.
The following year, Balkman returned to Alab Pilipinas and once again put up spectacular numbers with his name often seen on top of the scoring leaders. After another dominant season, Balkman brought Alab back to the Playoffs and earned himself an MVP nomination.
In just a total of 50 games played, Balkman has already garnered 1263 points, 558 rebounds, and 209 assists in the ABL, proving that he is indeed worthy to be in the Final 21 nominees for the Top 10 ABL Players of All-Time.