RAYMOND Almazan’s absence may have been a boon for Barangay Ginebra after they managed to break free from Meralco in Game 3 of the Governor's Cup finals, 92-84, but the Gin Kings also hope for his comeback in the next games of the best-of-seven series.
The 30-year-old forward made an early exit on Sunday night after an awkward landing on Ginebra guard LA Tenorio in a rebound play at the 5:55 mark of the first frame. He is set to undergo an MRI on the knee today, January 13.
Although from the opposite side of the court, Ginebra players also wish for his speedy recovery.
“Ayaw nating mangyari ‘yung nangyari kay Almazan, nakita ko he’s really in pain," said LA Tenorio in a short interview after yesterday night's game. "Raymond’s a friend also kaya ayaw din natin mangyari ‘yon. Sana nothing serious ‘yung nangyari sa kanya."
He continued: “Malaking bagay sa kanila, and we took advantage of that. But again, we’re praying na maging okay siya kasi we don’t want players going down, especially in this series.”
Tenorio recalled the unfortunate collision that sent Almazan out of the game.
“Bumagsak siya nang alanganin pero naramdaman ko ‘yung bagsak niya sa paa ko, o hita. Very awkward nakita ko sa replay," he said. "So, I’m really hoping for his recovery kasi malaking bagay siya, he makes his team very strong.”
The absence of Almazan also allowed Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar to own the field, finishing with 23 points and seven blocks.
Yet Aguilar also looks forward to seeing his Gilas roommate in the next games.
“Sana walang mangyaring masama kay Raymond, kasi dito sa trabaho namin, ayaw naming may mga nasasaktan. But I think Meralco did a good job, ‘nung nawala siya nag-step up sila,” he said.
Almazan had two points, and two rebounds for the Bolts in 6:05 playing minutes.