MANILA, Philippines – If Raymond Almazan decides to return and play for Rain or Shine again following his sabbatical, head coach Caloy Garcia bared that he has to fight for his spot and playing time.
Garcia stressed on professionalism as he talked about Almazan’s potential comeback for the Elasto Painters after he went AWOL and missed 4 straight games in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup.
“If he shows up in practice and wants to play, then he has to work for it,” Garcia told reporters after their 120-98 win over NorthPort on Wednesday, October 17. “Basically, ‘yun sinasabi ko sa mga players – magkahiyaan naman tayo.”
(If he shows up in practice and wants to play, then he has to work for it. Basically, that’s what I’m telling to the players – let’s be ashamed of ourselves if we won’t meet that standard.)
“[S]abi ko nga sa kanila, they should set good examples, especially the veterans. Hopefully, if ever mapaisip siya maglaro, I hope he comes ready to play as a professional.”
(I told them that they should set good examples, especially the veterans. Hopefully, if ever he decides to play, I hope he comes ready to play as a professional.)
The two-time All-Star last played for Rain or Shine in a 76-92 loss to Magnolia on September 26. A week after, he was nowhere to be found in an 89-106 defeat to Alaska on October 3.
It was in the Elasto Painters’ 93-99 loss to Blackwater where Garcia revealed that Almazan left without notifying him or the team management. (READ: Raymond Almazan goes AWOL for luckless Rain or Shine)
Reports surfaced that it was Almazan’s rift and growing misunderstanding with Garcia that caused his disappearance, but the mentor said he’s just as surprised why he’s the one being blamed.
“At the end of the day, I’m just doing my job. There was just a time that I told him… kasi madalas siya mag-absent at ma-late, we’re losing and we needed him to come in and work,” he said.
(At the end of the day, I’m just doing my job. There was just a time that I told him… because he was often absent or late, we were losing and we needed him to come in and work.)
“I didn’t know that that’s going to cause this because lahat naman tanggap nila everybody comes in early and works and it’s working right now. If that’s the reason why, it’s my job to discipline the players.”
(I didn’t know that that’s going to cause this because everybody accepts that fact they they have to come in and work and it’s working right now. If that’s the reason why, it’s my job to discipline the players.)
“Sa’min nga wala nga kaming fine eh, so ‘wag naman nila i-ano, sobra sobra naman na alam mo na. Basically, we’re just trying to be professionals.”
(The team doesn’t fine anyone for being late or absent, so I hope they don’t abuse that. Basically, we’re just trying to be professionals.)
Almazan is set to meet with management during the weekend after he resurfaced earlier this week.
For the meantime, the Elasto Painters (2-4) shoot for their third straight win against the winless Columbian on Friday, October 19, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. – Rappler.com
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