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    Cone urges Japeth, Slaughter to pounce as Almazan status uncertain

    Jan 13, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone expects Raymond Almazan to play on Wednesday in Game Four of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals despite suffering an injury in his left knee.

    Cone said the team will prepare a game plan with Almazan playing on Wednesday’s match where the Gin Kings are eyeing a 3-1 series lead.

    The status of Almazan remained unknown as the team hasn’t released an official statement on his condition. Meralco coach Norman Black, however, is bracing for worst and is now preparing for a finals series without Almazan.

    The initial prognosis is that Almazan suffered a strain in his left knee after a collision with LA Tenorio although he didn’t return to the match. Almazan was sent to a hospital for an MRI at halftime.

    Cone though sees Almazan playing in Game Four as Meralco aims to tie the series.

    “I hope he is alright. I understand there is nothing major that happened to him. I expect him to get a couple of days off. We’ll plan for him to play on Wednesday,” said Cone.

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    Cone expects Almazan to play more so since his absence hurt Meralco so much, with Japeth Aguilar dominating with 23 points and seven blocks. Greg Slaughter also had decent numbers with six points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.

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    “We talked about it at halftime. I said, this is the time for Japeth and Greg that can really make a lot of forays in the paint, get some seals with Raymond out. Big difference. One-point game at halftime, and then, he went out really in the third and we ended up beating them and got up by 20 points,” said Cone.

    “Obviously, his presence or lack of presence was really felt,” Cone added.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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