WHERE in the world is Raymond Almazan?
It turned out the Rain or Shine slotman didn't go AWOL anew but rather, was just taking care of some personal business.
Caloy Garcia, his coach at Rain or Shine and an assistant in the national team, came to Almazan's defense following his second straight absence from Team Pilipinas practices on Thursday.
"Today, he was supposed to come, but the problem was late siya sinabihan na he has to go to GAB for his medical (certificate)," he explained.
Garcia said Almazan was told on Thursday afternoon that he needed to renew his expired Games and Amusements Board (GAB) license to be able to play for Rain or Shine in a game against NorthPort on Friday.
"We had practice this morning, tapos sinabihan lang siya mga bandang 2 o'clock na. Na-late siya," said the soft-spoken mentor. "If he won't be able to finish yung papeles niya sa GAB, hindi siya makakalaro bukas."
According to Garcia, Almazan wanted to catch the 6 p.m. training session with the national team, but only finished his medical at the GAB 7:30 p.m. He abandoned the plan knowing he would get caught in the terrible EDSA traffic on his way to Meralco Gym.
Garcia also explained that Almazan was coming off an illness that caused him to miss Tuesday's session.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao was told of the unfortunate circumstance and Garcia said the fiery bench tactician understood the situation.
"Wala namang problema. Problema lang late eh. Baka sabihin niyo chismis eh," Garcia said with a chuckle.