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    Almazan not around again as Team Pilipinas steps up Fiba buildup

    Feb 7, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    RAYMOND Almazan was nowhere to be seen once again in Gilas Pilipinas' early Thursday evening practice at Meralco Gym.

    It was the second time the Rain or Shine slotman was absent from the national team practices after missing Tuesday's session.

    Also not present for the night was Ginebra's Scottie Thompson.

    Twelve men attended the practice, a lean turnout with exactly two weeks away from the make-or-break sixth window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.


      Andray Blatche had his third official session with the team, with staples Gabe Norwood, Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, and Japeth Aguilar joining him.

      Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Paul Lee, Marcio Lassiter, and Mark Barroca completed the list. JP Erram was present but was in street clothes.

      Backup national team player Thirdy Ravena also came to practice after finally arriving from Ateneo's trip to Hong Kong.

      Assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga also attended his first practice as Team Pilipinas' advance scout as he started working with other members of coach Yeng Guiao's staff, namely Caloy Garcia, Ryan Gregorio, Ricky Umayam, and Ford Arao.

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      Gilas is preparing for the next series of road games in Qatar on Feb. 21 and Kazakhstan on Feb. 24, with the country sitting at fourth place in Group F with its 5-5 win-loss card.
      The national team is set to fly for Doha on Feb. 16.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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