Fil-Ams in US NCAA: Jason Brickman and LIU win Northeast Conference tournament; Holt topscores for the Gaels in losing to No.1 Gonzaga

13 03 2013

Filipino-American Jason Brickman and the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds are going to the big dance once again as they beat Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers in the finals of the Northeast Conference, 91-70. Brickman, the main playmaker in the team, contributed 7 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals in the victory for LIU (20-13, 12-6 NEC). He is currently averaging 8.5 assists per game which tops the whole NCAA Division I.

Stephen Holt meanwhile, led the scoring for the Saint Mary’s Gaels (27-6, 14-2 WCC) who lost in the West Coast Conference finals against No.1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs(31-2, 16-0 WCC), 51-65.  Holt finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals as he was the only Gaels player who finished in double figures. He is currently averaging 11.8 ppg and 5.4 rpg.  Three of the Gaels losses this season was against division rival Bulldogs.  The Gaels have a good chance to have an at large bid to the prestigious NCAA Tournament.

Last year, the LIU Blackbirds and St. Mary’s Gaels were eliminated in the first round of the Big Dance.

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PBA: Renaldo Balkman gets banned for life

11 03 2013

Commissioner Atty. Chito Salud of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) issued an official statement banning Petron Blaze Boosters import Renaldo Balkman from the league and fining him 250,000 pesos in relation to the incident in last Friday’s game between the Blaze Bossters and the Alaska Aces.  Commissioner Salud considered Balkman’s history in handing down the stiff decision.  Some quarters believed that the penalties imposed by the Commissioner was too harsh.  Petron was even willing to give the temperamental yet effective import another chance.

With Balkman, Petron sits with 5-2 record which is good for 3rd place over-all.  The Blaze Boosters are just a game behind the Aces and 1/2 game behind the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.  Balkman, a former NBA first round pick, is currently averaging 25 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 2.43 apg, 2 spg, and 2.71 bpg.  The ban on him will leave a big void to fill as the Blaze Boosters will play the streaking Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their next game.

Commissioner Salud’s statement (via interaktv)

A video of the incident that triggered the ban has reached over 1,000,000 views in Youtube.  The news was also picked up by the international media.  Balkman’s agent Sheryl Reyes is worried that the ban will have negative implications on employment opportunities for her client in other parts of the world. In the video, Balkman is seen arguing the referees.  He pushed assistant coach Biboy Ravanes, teammates Ronald Tubid, and Arwind Santos.  In one of the most unusual scenes in the PBA, the import choked Santos before cooler heads were able to restrain him.

caloycomment: Carry on, Petron! Farewell, Renaldo Balkman!