WHILE Rain or Shine welcomes the return of big man Raymund Almazan, the team took a hit again in terms of size and depth in its PBA Governors Cup campaign.
Stretch 4 Jay Washington has been ruled out of the season-ending meet by coach Caloy Garcia and co-team owner Raymund Yu, which basically explained the reason for the team trading Jeff Chan away for veteran forward Mark Borboran.
Washington has played just once this conference during the Elasto Painters’ 98-96 win over the Globalport Batang Pier in their opening game, scoring eight points in nine minutes of play. He has since been relegated to the injury list after being diagnosed with a hamstring tear.
It doesn’t help that he’s feeling discomfort in his knee.
“It doesn’t feel normal for sure,” said the veteran Fil-Am. “I just feels off.”
Without Washington and the suspended Beau Belga, Rain or Shine is left with just Almazan and Borboran to man the middle when it resumes its campaign against unbeaten league leader Star this Sunday.
Belga will served out his one-game suspension against the Hotshots for the flagrant foul 1 and technical foul he committed in the game against KIA Picanto that that led to his ejection.
“JWash is out for the conference. That’s why we went for a trade this conference since we need somebody who can help us in rebounding play the 4 which is Mark nga,” said Garcia.
The Elasto Painters are on a two-game winning streak that raised their record to 3-2, putting them in the upper half of the standings.
However, the timing of the injury is bad since Washington’s current contract is expiring at the end of the season.
“It’s really bad timing,” said the 35-year-old big man. “I’ve never been in this situation before, especially with contract stuff. But that’s the way it is sometimes.”
Washington did say there’s a small chance of him possibly coming back just in time for the playoffs, if and when Rain or Shine would make it.
But on second thoughts, he doesn’t see the need to rush his return and would rather try to come back a healthier and better player by next season.
“If I come back too early, it might get worse,” said the former No. 1 overall pick (Air21). “I just want to play it safe and think the best for my career.”