ANTIPOLO City -The stint with Gilas Pilipinas was no doubt a major confidence-booster for Raymond Almazan.
Playing with renewed vigor after suiting up for the national team in the recent FIBA Asia Cup, the lanky big man came up anew with a double-double in Rain or Shine's 116-111 victory over Phoenix Wednesday night in the PBA Governors Cup here at the Ynares Center.
Almazan finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots in the victory that hiked the Elasto Painters' record at 5-3 and remain in the race for a Top 4 berth in the quarterfinals.
It also marked the first time in the team's last three games the center out of Letran submitted a double-double following his return for his Gilas Pilipinas duty.
"Malaking tulong yun, it boosted my confidence," he said. "Marami akong natutunan dun kasi ang lalaki ng mga kalaban mo."
"Ang lalaki, ang gagaling ng mga kalaban mo. Ang daming may experience. Kaya i-apply mo na lang sa game."
Unfortunately, he failed to do it in RoS game against San Miguel, a 103-96 loss in which he struggled to match up with fellow national teammate June Mar Fajardo.
Almazan was held to just five points and eight rebounds as against the 17 points and 14 rebounds of Fajardo.
The fourth year big man said he really felt sluggish against the Beermen especially after just being discharged from the hospital due to dehydration following the Elasto Painters' game against the Star Hotshots.
"Yung San Miguel talaga ang turning point. Apat na araw ako walang practice kaya sa game, naramdaman ko talaga yung pagod. Wala akong hangin," he admitted.
Now fully recovered, Almazan showed exactly what he can do against Phoenix as he went 10 of 15 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free throw line.
The stats line should serve him well going to RoS' game against defending champion Barangay Ginebra this Saturday.
"Kailangan talaga pakundisyon kasi Ginebra sunod na kalaban namin. Tapos sa isang linggo may tatlong games kami," Almazan noted.
"So bawal magkasakit."