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    RoS hopeful Almazan, Norwood will be back in time for 'Friday the 13th' duel vs SMB

    Jan 10, 2017
    Raymond Almazan (left) has sat out Rain or Shine's last two games due to an injured calf. Jerome Ascano 

    RAIN or Shine is hopeful everybody will finally be on board, especially starters Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan, by the time it plays its next game in the PBA Philippine Cup.

    The Elasto Painters needed all the firepower they can get on Friday the 13th as they have reigning champion San Miguel Beermen no less for their opponents.

    The team began its campaign for the year minus Almazan and Norwood, who were nursing a calf muscle injury and sore eyes, respectively.

    Good thing it got the needed support from its bench in a 97-82 win over Phoenix last Sunday in which role players Don Trollano and Ronnie Matias came through for a combined 17 points.

    [See Two life trials deepened Ronnie Matias' devotion to Black Nazarene]

    But the Elasto Painters couldn't afford to be without Almazan and Norwood when they take on the Beermen in a marquee match-up pitting the top two teams in the leaderboard of the season-opening conference.

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    The two-time defending champions are currently on top of the standings with a 7-1 record, while Rain or Shine occupies second spot at 5-2.

    "Hopefully Raymond will be ready by that time," said coach Caloy Garcia of the lanky center, who has missed the team's last two outings.

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    The 15-day break during the holidays, according to Garcia, is hopefully enough to allow Almazan's injured calf to heal.

    "Yun ang maganda sa long break, ang mga injuries have time to heal," he said.

    Garcia is also keeping his fingers crossed that Norwood would have completely recovered from the sore eyes that forced him to sit out the team's game against the Fuel Masters.

    'Si Gabe sore eyes, pero pwede na siguro yun," said Garcia.

    The Rain or Shine guard could have contracted the viral from his kid.

    "It's more of a viral yata. Hindi ako doctor pero dumating kasi siya sa practice na namumula yung mga mata niya," said the RoS mentor.

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    "Tapos Sunday morning nga before the Phoenix game, tumawag na siya that he couldn't make it."

    Hopefully, it will be a piece of good news Garcia hears the next time he gets a call from Norwood again.

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    Raymond Almazan (left) has sat out Rain or Shine's last two games due to an injured calf. Jerome Ascano 
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