Yeng Guiao welcomes posssible Gilas call-up for Raymond Almazan, but cites downside for RoS
Yeng Guiao sees possible problem for Rain or Shine should big man Raymond Almazan be called up as part of the Gilas training pool. Jaime Campos

RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao welcomed the possible call-up of Raymond Almazan to become part of the Gilas Pilipinas training pool, but also cited the cons for the Elasto Painters.

National coach Tab Baldwin earlier expressed his desire to add the 6-foot-8 beanpole to the pool that’s preparing for the Manila leg of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.

Almazan also confirmed an invitation Baldwin sent to him.

“I think that’s good for Raymond,” Guiao said. “That’s also a tribute to his improvement from the time he got into the PBA. I don’t see any problems with that.”

“The downside of it is if you have too many guys playing for Gilas, it affects the whole team, because they take up so much time and commitment,” the champion mentor was quick to add, particularly pointing to the situation in 2014 when four Rain or Shine stars juggled time playing for club and country.

Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, and Jeff Chan as well as Beau Belga wore the national colors either as part of the Final 12 or as reserve for the squad in the Fiba World Cup in Spain.

“If all of your top players are tied up with their schedules with Gilas and then we have our own schedule to follow, that’s when it becomes a problem,” Guiao said.

The Painters, though, appear to hardly had a tough time coping with juggling their priorities as they still reached at least the semifinals, and getting to the finals twice, in all three conferences during the 2014 season.

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