RAIN or Shine coach Caloy Garcia denied he has a rift with Raymond Almazan, saying all he ever did prior to the big man's disappearance was talk to him following incidents of absences and tardiness in practices.
Garcia said he was surprised that he is now being tagged as the reason behind Almazan’s disappearance in Rain or Shine’s practices and games.
“Just speaking on my behalf, nagulat nga ako na ako ang tinuturo,” said Garcia, speaking at length about Almazan’s absence for the first time. “At the end of the day, I’m just doing my job.”
Garcia pointed out a talk he had with Almazan this conference where he told the Rain or Shine center to avoid being late or absent from practice as the Elastopainters, at that time, were on a slump.
That talk, Garcia believes, led to the sudden disappearance of the former Letran star.
“There was this time na I told them that kasi madalas siya mag-absent at ma-late. You know we were losing and we needed him to come in and work. And I didn’t know that that’s going to cause this,” said Garcia.
Garcia said he does not regret saying those words to Almazan as he was only disciplining his team.
“Lahat naman tanggap nila. Everybody comes in early and work and it's working right now. If that’s the reason why, it’s my job to discpline the players. Sabi ko nga, wala nga kaming fine. ‘Wag naman sobra-sobra naman. So basically, we are just trying to be professionals,” said Garcia.
Garcia said he has yet to speak with Almazan even as a meeting between Almazan and management is set to take place on Saturday.
Garcia said he is still willing to welcome Almazan to the team but added he has to regain the team's trust.
“Just be professional. ‘Yun (ang) lagi kong iniisip. If he shows up in practice and he wants to play, he has to work for it. Basically, ‘yun ang sinasabi ko sa mga players. Magkahiyaan naman tayo kasi we see players come in really early and work hard and I don’t give them a chance to play.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, they should set a good example, especially the veteran players. Since nangyari ‘yun, gumanda ‘yung takbo namin sa ensayo. Hopefully, if ever mapaisip siyang maglaro, I hope he comes in ready to play as a professional,” Garcia said.