Almazan eager to get timing back and prove worth to Bolts
MANILA, Philippines—Raymond Almazan finally got to sport the bright orange color of his new team when he played his first game with Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot-7 center was sidelined for more than two months due to a calf injury forcing him to miss the Bolts’ first four games in the conference, and the now healthy Almazan looked like a young rookie playing for his new team.
Almazan, who was traded to Meralco from Rain or Shine back in May, said he doesn’t feel any pain and that he just needs to get his rhythm back.
“I’m super excited, I just want to help my team and do whatever coach Norman [Black] needs me to do,” said Almazan in Filipino after the Bolts’ 101-95 win over Phoenix Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I hope I can get my timing back in the next games. As for the pain, it’s already gone because I had a long rest before this game.”
Almazan played nearly 13 minutes for the Bolts and had three points, all on free throws, one rebound, and one assist, but Meralco didn’t need much production from its new big man.
Center Gani Lawal finished with 26 points and 28 rebounds while Baser Amer added 20 points to do the heavy lifting for the Bolts, who improved to a 3-2 record.
Almazan, who had a strained relationship with his former coach Caloy Garcia, said he’s happy at Meralco and that he’s thankful to get just another chance in playing after being injured.
“I’m happy at Meralco and with the system,” said Almazan. “I’m really thankful because not every player gets to have a second chance. I’m coming from an injury, almost three months out, so every opportunity I get I take it.”
“I just really hope that I get my timing back in our next game, because this is the healthy Raymond Almazan.”
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