WHO wouldn’t get motivated after getting an earful from Yeng Guiao?
Rain or Shine big man Raymond Almazan admitted he vowed to atone after his fiery coach shouted at him after missing two wide-open mid-range jumpers in the fourth quarter of the Elasto Painters’ 119-99 win over KIA on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
After the two straight misses in the midst of a Carnival run that made it 99-90, the gangling sophomore big man took it inside and scored eight points - half of his total output - in a one-minute span halfway through the fourth that all but ended KIA's threat.
“Medyo nagising ng konti…nasigawan ni coach,” Almazan said. “Sabi niya, ‘Kahit ako, kaya ko gawin ‘yun eh.’”
But he defended his attempts, saying he was wide-open against KIA import PJ Ramos, who didn’t offer a challenge.
“Hindi rin naman nag-co-closeout si PJ eh, so titirahan mo sa labas,” the 25-year-old cager said. “Eh ayaw pumasok, so sa loob naman ngayon.”
Instead of benching Almazan, Guiao kept his young ward in the game and the latter repaid his coach’s faith.
“Raymond missed the easy shots, but he made the difficult shots,” Guiao said, drawing chuckles from the scribes. “So I guess that’s enough reason to keep him in the game.”
“It’s a positive sign for us and it’s also a sign of maturity for Raymond, who’s just getting his game established in the PBA,” Guiao added of the third overall pick of the 2013 Draft.
The former Letran star said he is thankful for Guiao's confidence in him.
“Sobrang nagpapasalamat kasi kung hindi niya ako na-pick, baka wala rin ako dito ngayon,” Almazan said. “Pinagbubutihan ko naman every practice at game.”