HE may be dominating the NCAA men’s basketball tournament right now, but Raymond Almazan knows the competition in college is nothing like what he is set to experience in the pros.
That’s why the Letran Knights stalwart, a leading MVP candidate who has signified his intention to enter the PBA draft later this year, is taking the initiative to put in the extra work by joining Rain or Shine's practices during the Fiba-Asia break.
The vastly improved 6-foot-7 slotman from Bataan hopes to hone his skills while going up against the likes of Beau Belga and JR Quinahan at Rain or Shine, where his coach at Letran, Caloy Garcia, serves as Yeng Guiao’s top deputy.
“Kailangan ko talaga nun eh,” Almazan told Spin.ph after their 87-68 win over Mapua on Monday. “Marami akong kailangan i-improve tsaka no time to relax talaga this year.”
So instead of going on a respite while the NCAA takes a break to give way to the country's hosting of the Fiba-Asia championships, Almazan didn’t think twice in accepting Garcia’s offer that he train with the Elasto Painters, who are preparing for the Governors’ Cup.
“Sinabihan rin ako, pero sinabi ko rin kay coach kung pwede akong sumabay sa practice.”
Almazan is ready to take a pounding from the 'Extra Rice Inc' tandem of Belga and Quiñahan, so long as he comes out of it a better player - and hopefully in one piece.
“Napakalaking opportunity sa akin yun," said the reed-thin slotman. "Dun makikita ko talaga yung banggaan, so yun yung gusto ko ma-achieve para hindi ako napipikon sa mga bangga.”