RAYMOND Almazan hopes to recover quickly from his sprained ankle as he badly wants to help Team Pilipinas in its crucial sixth and final window in the FIBA World Cup 2019 Qualifiers in February.
As the Philippines gears up for its two crucial road matches against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 25, national team head coach Yeng Guiao is not closing the doors on injured players Almazan and TNT’s Troy Rosario who nursing a broken nose.
The 6-foot-8 Almazan was in street clothes in the first training of the 14-man pool on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City and he is grateful that Guiao still gave him a chance as long as he can recover in time for their preparations.
“Siyempre hindi biro yung makasali ka sa pool tapos coming from injury. Binibigyan pa rin niya ako ng chance sabi niya sa akin kung makakabalik ako ng maaga,” Almazan told reporters.
Almazan consulted his doctor on Tuesday and is hoping to get clearance soon.
“As of now it’s getting better naman kesa sa last time. Ngayon medyo okay okay na siya siguro mga six out of ten, ganun,” the former Letran star said. “Hopefully sa mga susunod na araw mas magiging okay siya or mas okay sa pakiramdam para hindi na ko nahihila.”
“Kasi sa akin wala namang problema sa akin as long as na kaya ko. Let’s see this week kung kaya ko makipractice,” he added. “Kasi hindi pa ko nagpapractice talaga, one week na ko walang practice pero nageextra work naman ako sa bahay.”
Almazan, who last played for the country in the Asian Games 2018 under Guiao, is eager to bring his winning spirit to Team Pilipinas as it needs to win its last two games to revive its chances of qualifying for the FIBA World Cup 2019 in China.
“Hopefully makabalik ako ng maaga kasi last window tsaka we need to win e kahit man lang yung winning spirit mo madala mo sa team diba? Happy na ako doon,” Almazan said.