MANILA, Philippines – Raymond Almazan vowed to come back stronger after being reduced to a spectator when Meralco fell short of the PBA Governors’ Cup crown anew to Barangay Ginebra.
The Bolts’ lanky big man was forced to sit out Game 5 of the best-of-seven finals affair due to a meniscal tear on his left knee as the Gin Kings wrapped up the series on Friday, January 17.
“It already happened and I can’t blame anyone for it,” Almazan, who suffered the injury in Game 3, said in a mix of Filipino and English. “I can’t bring the past back. I can’t rewind what happened.”
“What I can do is move forward. I’m looking forward to the upcoming games in the All-Filipino conference and I’m looking forward to being stronger.”
Almazan normed 17.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in the first two games, which was decided by an average of 3.0 points with the Gin Kings winning Game 1 and the Bolts taking Game 2.
But Almazan sustained the injury early in Game 3 following an awkward fall and the series was never the same.
The injury tipped the scales in favor of Ginebra as Meralco dropped the next 3 matches by an average of 14.0 points.
“It hurts that I wasn’t able to help my team. But at the same time, I’m using it as motivation to come back stronger and more ready,” Almazan said.
“Having played 6 years in the league, there are players who are younger than me so I need to improve my game.”
Almazan will go under the knife in the next couple of weeks as he seeks to see action in the Philippine Cup, the conference the Bolts are known to struggle in the past due to their lack of a talented big man.
“I’m ready to go back to conditioning and making myself stronger. That’s my focus now,” Almazan said. – Rappler.com