RAIN or Shine coach Caloy Garcia did his best impersonation of Yeng Guiao when he showed some tough love on Raymond Almazan by benching him in the team’s 120-99 win over Phoenix in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Wednesday night.
Garcia revealed he had an argument with Almazan after the star slotman put up a sub-par showing in the 78-70 loss to GlobalPort last Friday when he contributed only two points on 1-of-5 shooting – missing all his three three-point attempts, and grabbed just four rebounds, and committed three turnovers. Almazan did add two assists and two blocks in 22 minutes as a starter.
Garcia said he spoke with Almazan after his performance left much to be desired, requiring more from the Gilas Pilipinas center.
“Well syempre, frustration,” Garcia said after their win over Phoenix. “We know that he can perform better than the way he did against Global. Actually I told Raymond before the start of this season that one of my goals was to basically make him a double-double player.
“But the way he played against Global, I felt that it wasn't Raymond,” he added.
The talk led to Almazan skipping practice the last two days, prompting Garcia to bench him for the game against the Fuel Masters.
“Hindi kasi nakapag-practice the last two days so sabi namin pahinga na lang muna,” Garcia said. “Actually, after the loss against Global, medyo nagka-anuhan lang kami but I think everything is good right now.”
“So ayun, medyo napagalitan, nagkatampuhan but that's it,” he added. “I think kasama naman sa trabaho namin yun eh.”