Almazan shows up
Rain or Shine and disgruntled center Raymond Almazan patched up their differences, but the 6-foot-8 national team mainstay won’t be returning to the Elasto Painters as they make a desperate drive to make the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs.
Almazan finally appeared before co-owner Raymund Yu and other members of team management on Monday afternoon. He apologized after weeks of unauthorized absence from practices and the Painters’ last six games.
Going AWOL (absent without leave) had a lot to do with Almazan’s differences with coach Caloy Garcia. Although they agreed to talk, the former Letran ace, drafted third overall under Yeng Guiao in 2013, cannot escape sanctions.
A trade is also not an option, agent Danny Espiritu said of his ward, whose contract expires after the end of next season.
Instead, Yu urged the team to move forward and try to salvage what is left of their campaign in the Governors’ Cup where they are currently in 10th place at 2-6.
“Let’s have a fresh start,” Espiritu quoted Yu as saying during the meeting that lasted more than an hour at the team’s office in Pasig.
Almazan was joined by his wife Liza in the meeting.
League governor Mert Mondragon and alternate governor Edison Oribiana were present for the team.
“He (Yu) told [Almazan]: Let’s not talk about the past,” Espiritu quoted Yu, who owns half the team together with billionaire businessman Terry Que, as saying.
Rain or Shine must win its remaining three games—against Phoenix Petroleum, San Miguel Beer and then NLEX—to have a shot at the last playoff slot.
Almazan will attend practice starting Tuesday but can only watch the games for now.
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