Almazan determined to play through pain to help Meralco live another day
MANILA, Philippines—Meralco’s Raymond Almazan likened the pain in his left knee to a needle trying to break through a fingernail.
He endured that agony on Wednesday night as he played through a torn ligament to finish with 12 points, nine rebounds and a block in Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
Almazan’s efforts, though, were all for naught as Meralco barely had answers to the Ginebra onslaught to absorb a 94-72 beatdown.
But if shrugging off the pain gives Meralco a chance at winning against the crowd darlings, Almazan said he’d willingly do it all over again.
“I want to finish the series,” he told reporters in Filipino. “As coach Norman Black said, we don’t know when our next will our next Finals run would be.”
Almazan stressed that he was not trying to play hero. He just wanted “to get back in the series.”
The Meralco big man said he was already dead-set in playing even after learning the extent of his injury Tuesday morning.
Taking pain killers thrice a day has helped manage the pain, according to Almazan.
Black, though, doubled down on the gravity of his ward’s injury.
“He has a pretty serious situation with his leg, something that will have to be taken care of once the conference is over,” he said.
Black added that the the decision to play in the coming games will be up to Almazan himself.
“I will leave that up to him … All I can tell you is he said he did not re-injure it or he did not injure it any more than it is, so I’ll always leave that decision up to him since it’s his leg and I really can’t feel what he’s feeling,” said Black.
Almazan said the surgery and a six-week rehab could wait, as “games like this don’t come very often.”
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