Almazan churning out solid numbers for Rain or Shine
He’s not quite as hefty as the old Extra Rice Inc. pairing, but Raymond Almazan is emerging as a worthy frontcourt replacement for JR Quiñahan in Rain or Shine.
Averaging 10.7 points on a league-best 75-percent shooting from the field, to go with 9.7 rebounds so, the Letran big man has definitely helped the Elasto Painters by leaps and bounds.
Almazan did that again on Friday, finishing with 14 points and 16 rebounds in Rain or Shine’s 107-93 win over Blackwater.
But he doesn’t want to be known as the guy to plug the hole left by Quiñahan.
“We have to move on so we have to be professional,” he said, citing other instances on the heels of the team’s blockbuster offseason moves.
“We all thought James (Yap) will retire with Star. We never imagined that he will play with us.”
Despite all the changes, the 6-foot-7 center argues said there hasn’t been a lot of changes under Garcia. His system still allows Rain or Shine to utilize its roster from top to bottom, giving chances to those who come ready to play.
“If you’re playing good, you get to play. You have to defend and you can’t relax. It’s going to be easier for us if we move the ball and trust each other. That’s our system,” he said.
Despite a stellar 3-1 record, there are still some issues Rain or Shine needs to address, specifically the complacency when the team is already leading big.
That happened again on Friday, as the Elite chipped away the Elasto Painters’ 22-point edge to trim it down to just a 14-point spread.
“We had so many turnovers and we sort of lacked communication on defense,” said Almazan. “Coach Caloy reminds us to not relax whenever we get big leads. It’s something we have to correct.”