PBA Finals: Bolts’ Raymond Almazan’s fate hangs in the balance

Published January 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Waylon Galvez

Meralco center Raymond Almazan is one optimistic dude.

Choosing to stay positive as he awaits the results of MRI tests on his injured left knee, the Bolts center says he is looking forward to suiting up for Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Wednesday.

Raymond Almazan’s left knee being checked by league physician Wendell Lozano inside the locker room. (Jonas Terrado)
Raymond Almazan’s left knee being checked by league physician Wendell Lozano inside the locker room. (Jonas Terrado)

“Tingin ko makakalaro ako,” said Almazan, who has averaged 17.5 points and 11 rebounds in the first two games of the finals.

Almazan spoke to the Manila Bulletin about his frustration about getting hurt early in Game 3 contributed to a 92-84 setback Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Any injury naman nakaka-frustrate, lalo ngayon nangyari na nasa finals pa kami,” said Almazan, who landed awkwardly after going for a layup halfway through the first quarter.

“Pero alam naman natin na ang injury possibleng mangyari kahit kelan, kahit kanino.”

Almazan had an MRI test after the game at the Makati Medical Center, but results were unavailable as of this writing.

Though he still feels some pain in his knee, Almazan says that most of the sensation is tolerable.

“Sa ngayon may mga movements ako na masakit. Pero sa tanong mo kung na-lessen yung sakit, oo medyo,” said Almazan, who was obtained by the Bolts in a trade with Rain or Shine last conference.

“Isa pang maganda siguro sabi nga ng doctor sakin, hindi siya yung namaga ng sobra. First time na mangyari kasi sakin ito e.”

Meralco’s team manager Paolo Trillo said that it’s hard to guess if the injury is severe or just a minor one, which could allow Almazan a couple of days rest.

“We’re still waiting for official reading of MRI. Hoping for the best but can’t really say right now, we’ll take it day to day,” he said. “When you talk about injuries, there are partial tear or talagang punit yung ligament. Of course we’re hoping talaga for the best.”

After the game, Meralco coach Norman Black said it’s always hard to comeback from a knee injury – something he experienced being a former player.

“He can’t move his leg, and as a former player myself, it’s never a good sign. I hope that he’ll be ok. But it’s not something that you’ll just bounce back,” he said. “Because of what happened, we just have to try and make as many adjustments as we can and be ready for the next game.”

Without his prized center, Black will rely on reserves Bryan Faundo and Jayson Ballesteros to provide help at the frontline alongside Cliff Hodge and import Allen Durham.