The one who controls the rebound controls the game, as they say. Meralco did just that on Friday evening when it went head-to-head with the Columbian Dyip in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.
And the Bolts have center Raymond Almazan to thank, as they reigned supreme on the boards.
The 6-foot-8 big man collected a career-high 24 rebounds — a huge chunk of his team’s 66 caroms — along with 18 points. His performance powered his side’s 92-74 dismantling of the Dyip.
“He’s been a blessing, there’s no question about that,” lauded coach Norman Black of Almazan.
“He’s been doing a great job for us, particularly on the boards and scoring inside the paint.”
But for the six-year pro out Colegio de San Juan de Letran, his output is just a bonus.
“Go with the flow lang naman talaga ako sa team namin e. Kung sino maiinit sa loob, support lang kami. Siguro ‘yung double-double para sa ‘kin, bonus na lang,” Almazan said.
The league record for most boards by a local in a game belongs to June Mar Fajardo, who had 31 in Game 7 of the 2019 Philippine Cup Finals last May, where San Miguel downed Magnolia.
Almazan feels like he can haul down 30 in a game, but he was quick to iterate that winning is more important for him. Friday’s win also helped the Bolts tighten their grip of the third spot with a 7-2 record.
“Kaya thirty rebounds, naka-twenty-four nga ako eh. ‘Di mahalaga ‘yun. Basta manalo kami — ‘yun ang mahalaga.”
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