RAIN or Shine already showed its trust in him after making big man Raymond Almazan a lottery pick in this year’s PBA draft.
Yet, the Letran star admitted feeling the pressure to deliver when no less than members of his new family watched him play in Game One of the NCAA Finals on Monday.
Almazan said he just thought he had to prove himself anew in front of coach Yeng Guiao and his Rain or Shine teammates, who showed up at the gallery section of the Mall of Asia Arena during the series opener.
“Medyo na-pressure ako kasi kailangan magpakita ng maganda,” Almazan said as teammates Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, Jireh Ibañes, JR Quiñahan, and Chris Tiu watched the game in the company of Guiao.
They all came to support not just the year’s No. 3 overall pick in the draft, but also Letran coach Caloy Garcia.
“It’s nice that they’re supporting me, but ang tingin ko lang naman diyan is all about the players. It’s not about who’s watching you. We know the Letran community will be supporting us anyway,” Garcia said.
“Sabi ni coach Caloy maglaro lang ako kasi pinapanood lang ako. Pero nandun na rin `yung medyo kinakabahan kasi kailangan magpakita ng maganda,” said Almazan, the reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player.
“Pero as long as ginagawa ko `yung best ko, okay na.”
Almazan posted solid numbers of 16 points - despite going scoreless in the first half -10 rebounds, and three blocks in 25 minutes, although the Knights lost, 68-80.
Unfortunately, it was some of Almazan’s teammates who failed to deliver in the biggest stage as the Knights found themselves on the brink of another bridesmaid finish.