Is Raymond Almazan going to be in a Gilas Pilipinas jersey anytime soon?
Last Tuesday, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters eliminated powerhouse Talk ‘N Text in an emphatic 104-89 wire to wire win to advance to the semifinals of the 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup.
Raymond Almazan was spectacular in the game in grabbing a huge double-double with 15 points, on an excellent 5/7 shooting clip, and ten boards. In addition, he was able to swat away three shots including a rejection of current Gilas Pilipinas pool member Moala Tautuaa.
After the game, the former Letran Knight was approached by TNT consultant and Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin at center court. The two had a lengthy conversation that left everyone wondering what the two were talking about.
The forward initially thought Baldwin was only going to greet him after the win but was overwhelmed when Baldwin hinted at a possible Gilas pool inclusion. “Sabi sakin ni coach Tab kanina, nilapitan niya lang ako. He’s trying to get me for Gilas daw,” Almazan disclosed.
“Sabi ko, ‘Sir, it is my pleasure’. For our country, I would love to play. Wala pa namang official pero basta ready lang ako.”
Almazan is currently averaging 10.9 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 1.2 BPG in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Akala ko i-gree-greet lang ako eh. Interested pa lang sa ‘yo, masaya ka na eh. Sana, sana. Karangalan ma-represent bansa mo eh,” he added.
The current Gilas squad already have Troy Rosario, June Mar Fajardo, Sonny Thoss, and Greg Slaughter in the pool. Almazan though would still be a welcome addition to the practices as he will be another big body in scrimmages and, as well as, help the National Team with his length.
Rain or Shine has supported the Gilas Program all throughout in sending players like Beau Belga, Jeff Chan, Paul Lee, and Gabe Norwood to be part of the National team.
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