RAYMOND Almazan will have to go under the knife for the knee injury he sustained in Game Three of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, but he is delaying surgery in the hope of helping Meralco win a maiden title.
Almazan sustained a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee in Game Three on Sunday, but started in Game Four where he finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Meralco center said it was his decision to play.
“Pagkatapos ng check-up, tinanong ako kung gusto ko ilaro, sabi ko 100 percent, gusto ko ilaro. And then ooperahan siya after the series. Six weeks ang recovery. Pero gusto ko tapusin ‘yung series,” said Almazan.
The Bolts still lost, 94-72, despite the big risk taken by Almazan.
“Sabi ko kay coach, gusto ko maglaro tapos uminom na lang ako ng pain killer. Alam mo ‘yung parang may needle ka sa daliri," he said. "First time ko maglaro na medyo may nararamdaman. Hindi ko sinasabing nagpa-kabayani ako pero gusto ko talaga maglaro eh. ‘Yun ang way para siguro makatulong sa team."
Eventually, Almazan said it was only adrenaline that kept him going.
“Medyo nakakailang pero kapag naririnig ko na sigawan ng crowd at ‘yung willingness ko manalo, nawawala eh (pain). Sabi nga ni coach, hindi namin alam kung saan sunod namin na finals. Sabi ko sa mga teammates ko, wala na dapat pusong mamon sa amin,” said Almazan.