Raymond Almazan may have suffered a lateral meniscal tear in his left knee, but that did not stop him from suiting up for Meralco in Game Four of their 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals versus Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday evening.
The 6-foot-8 forward sustained the injury back in Game Three last Sunday, which the Bolts lost. Tonight, he saw action for 27 minutes and 51 seconds, collecting 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting, along with nine rebounds and a block.
‘Tinanong ako ni coach kung gusto ko maglaro eh. Sabi ko kaya ko.
“Tapos uminom na lang akong pain killers. So ‘yun, three times a day, ‘di ko siya masyadong maramdaman. Pero meron pa rin siyang kaunting kirot,” he said.
“At saka first time kong maglaro nang may nararamdaman. ‘Di ko sinasabing bayani ako, pero gusto ko talagang manalo eh. Eh ‘yun ‘yung way para makatulong ako sa team,” added the athletic big from Orion, Bataan.
Unfortunately, his efforts went down the drain. The Bolts got blown out by 22, 72-94 — the most lopsided result of the series so far. And the one-time PBA champion admitted that he feels humiliated to have suffered such defeat.
“Nahihiya ako sa ganitong pagkatalo. Game One, Two, laging dikit ‘yung laban,” said Almazan, who last played in the Finals in 2016. “So bakit kung kailan madiin, dapat mas diinan namin eh. Makikita mo ‘yung intensity namin nung third eh.
“Sabi ko nasa Finals tayo p’re, wala tayo sa playoffs ‘di ba? So ‘yung mga ganong bagay na dapat sa court, ginagawa mo na ngayon — as in ngayon na. Kasi wala nang susunod. Susunod all-Filipino na uli. So ibigay mo na lahat ng kaya mo.”
The Bolts are now down 1-3 in the series, and one wrong move in Game Five this Friday will mean the end of it. And since he has preached about giving it all they have, Almazan said that he plans to finish the series despite the pain.
So that means the 30-year-old will hold off going under the knife just to be able to do what he desires.
“Pagkatapos ng check-up ko, tinanong ako kung gusto ko ilaro, talagang hundred-percent gusto ko siyang ilaro. And then ooperahan siya after ng series. Six weeks akong pahinga. Pero gusto kong tapusin ‘yung series.”