Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Meralco was never the same after Almazan’s injury, laments Norman Black


Meralco was never the same after unfortunately losing Raymond Almazan due to a knee injury. 

That was Bolts head coach Norman Black’s assessment when the Orangemen lost to tormentors Barangay Ginebra anew in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, Friday night.

Faced a lot of adversity in this series. We lost our big men in the third game, first quarter, and we never seemed to be the same team again,” said Black moments after the 93-105 defeat.

“Certainly, we faced a team that’s quite big and quite talented, and without Raymond in the middle, we suffered.”

Almazan hurt his left knee just six minutes into Game Three last Sunday following a bad landing after a shot,. Later results of the MRI showed that he sustained a lateral meniscal tear.

Despite his condition, Almazan bravely played in Game Four, though the Bolts lost. He even said that he wanted to finish the series, but he did not play in Game Five.

“I think, before Raymond got hurt, it was tied one-to-one; the first quarter (of Game Three) was a close quarter. We were competitive, but once he got hurt, everything changed,” Black maintained.

“I’m not blaming it on Raymond wasn’t there, but that was a big factor.”

Still, Black credited the Gin Kings, who have won their third Governors’ Cup championship in four years.

“A lot of credit should go to Ginebra,” said the 62-year-old Black, who last won a PBA title in 2013 when he steered the Talk ‘N’ Text Tropang Texters to the top of the Philippine Cup.

#ReadMore  Rene Catalan looks back on how CFS-Team Lakay rivalry began

And if there’s anything positive he can take from the loss, Black said that it was having more talent in his crew.

Besides Almazan, the Bolts have added veteran gunslinger Allein Maliksi and stocky point guard Nard Pinto — pieces who will definitely be of great help for them moving forward.

“We came in eleventh and eighth place before the third conference so the addition of Raymond, the addition of Allein, of course, the return of AD, gave us a more competitive team,” he said.

“And, gave us a chance to win a championship. Have to be very, very happy with that. It just shows that we improved our talent and talent wins games.​”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


You May Also Like

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Kevin Alas said that he’s all fine after his fractured nose got hit during NLEX’s PBA Philippine Cup match versus Meralco, Saturday...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – What happens on the court, stays on the court. Head coaches Yeng Guiao and Norman Black were quick to move on from...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – NLEX ran past Meralco in a physical encounter, 90-75, for its third win in the PBA Philippine Cup, Saturday night at the...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Raymar Jose could be seen sporting a much leaner frame now and that’s thanks hugely to the influence of Meralco’s elder statesman....

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Raymond Almazan missed Meralco’s PBA Philippine Cup match versus NorthPort Thursday as he got placed under health protocols. Bolts head coach Norman...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Meralco waylaid NorthPort, 97-87, for its third win in the PBA Philippine Cup Thursday night at the Ynares Center here. Allein Maliksi...

3x3 Basketball

The top PBA 3×3 players banner the 15-man Gilas Pilipinas pool for the 2022 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup on July 6-10 at the Marina...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – TNT dealt Meralco its first loss, 78-71, to go back above .500 in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, Saturday night at the...

Advertisement