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2023 FIBA World Cup

Almazan looks to shake off PBA heartbreak first before joining Gilas

Meralco absorbed a tough 100-89 loss against San Miguel in Game 7 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, Wednesday night.

And even though the Bolts’ hopes were already chopped, a new task is waiting for Raymond Almazan.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced Tuesday the 24-man Gilas Pilipinas pool, PBA players already included, for the fourth window of the 2023 World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

With the Bolts eliminated, Almazan, Allein Maliksi, and Chris Newsome are expected to attend the national team’s preparation for the upcoming window.

But the 6-foot-8 big man hopes to have some rest first after a grueling seven-game series against six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and the Beermen.

“Kailangan muna ng pahinga kasi puro laro kami eh,” said Almazan after Meralco’s elimination, referring to his Gilas callup.

“Kailangan muna para maclear ‘yung mind mo… syempre masakit ‘yung puso namin talo eh.”

However, that does not mean that the Letran product will not respond to flag duties.

After all, Almazan sees being included in the pool already a great honor, no matter if he will be included in the final lineup or not.Gilas-practice-August-2-Raymond-Almazan-0413 Almazan looks to shake off PBA heartbreak first before joining Gilas 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

“Same feeling pa rin parang nung unang nacall-up [ako]. Mapasama ka pa lang sa pool be proud of yourself na kasi hindi lahat ng player nabibigyan (ng chance) masama sa pool,” said Almazan, who was last part of Gilas in 2019.

The national team will first head to Beirut to face Lebanon on August 25, before heading home to square off against Saudi Arabia on the 29th.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

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