Almazan begs off from Phl Team

A crucial family matter cost Raymond Almazan his spot in Gilas Pilipinas.

No less than Gilas assistant coach Tim Cone revealed that the 6-foot-8 slotman had to beg off at the last minute as he needed to attend his ailing son.

The veteran tactician said Almazan already had a sure slot in the final 13-man lineup, but the coaching staff headed by Chot Reyes decided not to include him in the squad that flew to Beirut a little past midnight Tuesday.

“Raymond was super excited to join but had to beg off due to family issues regarding the health of his son,” Cone said in a social media post.

“He certainly would have made the 12.”

Almazan’s inclusion would have provided a stronger frontcourt rotation for Gilas.

Gilas Pilipinas struggled in shaping up its frontcourt rotation t due to the late arrival of 7-foot-3 big man Kai Sotto, Covid-19 infection of Japeth Aguilar and ongoing commitment of Carl Tamayo with the University of the Philippines.

The three pivotmen eventually made the cut and will be joined by stretch forwards Roosevelt Adams and Jaime Malonzo inside the paint.

Magnolia banger Ian Sangalang also begged off from national duties while Gilas veteran June Mar Fajardo cannot represent the country due to San Miguel Beer’s ongoing stint in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup finals.

Even Kevin Quiambao was dropped from the roster as he currently plays with De La Salle University in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup finals.

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