Turmoil at Rain or Shine? Almazan, Cruz, Belga want out, say sources
Raymond Almazan, Jericho Cruz and Beau Belga have been at the center of rumors amid growing tension at the Rain or Shine camp. Jerome Ascano

TURMOIL is brewing in the Rain or Shine camp.

Multiple sources told SPIN.ph that not one but three key players in the E-Painters team are disenchanted with the way the PBA team is being run by second-year head coach Caloy Garcia and want out.

Raymond Almazan, Jericho Cruz, and Beau Belga are no longer happy with the team and prefer to have a fresh start with another ballclub, the sources added.

Of the three, Almazan's situation is most pressing, sources said, after a very public spat with Garcia - and subsequent benching - over his lackluster play in a game against GlobalPort last Jan. 12.

Player and coach had a heart-to-heart talk in front of team governor Atty Mert Mondragon at a café outside the North East Greenhills Gym last week in a bid to thresh out their differences.

But the situation remains uneasy, sources bared, as Almazan also missed practice on Monday.

In more or less the same boat is Cruz, the crafty, high-scoring guard out of Adamson who has not been the same since the departure of longtime head coach Yeng Guiao.

After averaging 12.5 points on 47.8 percent shooting to go with 3.2 rebounds and 2 assists under Guiao, the 6-1, Saipan-raised guard saw his numbers dip to 9.6 points on 35.9% shooting last season.

Hounded lately by injuries, the 2014 first-round pick of Rain or Shine has played in just two games this season, scoring a grand total of two points on 20-percent shooting.

“Pursigido si Jericho na sumibat," said a source inside the Rain or Shine camp. "Malaking kawalan yun kasi bata at scorer talaga ng team 'yun.”

Of late, Cruz made the news but one time, when his tweet about Guiao went viral after the now-NLEX coach got into a spat with Chris Ross during a game against San Miguel Beer.

But before he can get in trouble, Cruz claimed the tweet had nothing to do with Guiao's spat with Ross.

Belga, meanwhile, has revived his trade demand, sources said, three years after nearly getting traded to SMB until he was prevailed upon to stay out by Guiao.

His reason?

“Si Beau, lagi naming naghahanap ng trade yan eh. Kais pakiramdam nya nagawa na nya lahat para sa Rain or Shine, gusto naman nya ng bagong challenge,” said the source.

Curiously, another ROS star, James Yap, is eerily silent even if his multitude of fans have been on an uproar over what they feel was his lack of playing time under Garcia.


People close to Yap bared the two-time MVP is sticking to his 'good soldier' role. 

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