Garcia admits Almazan reactivated but still unlikely to suit up against SMB

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By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Coach Caloy Garcia told the media on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum that Raymond Almazan was reactivated for Rain or Shine's do-or-die clash with Blackwater for the last seat in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals won by the former.

However, the six-foot-seven center was in street clothes for the said match, a proof that he is still nursing a calf injury that is keeping him out of action.

Garcia then bared that Almazan could also sit out the Elasto Painters' next win-or-go-home matchup against the San Miguel Beermen at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday night.

"He's activated, pero I'm not sure if he can still play. Malaking bagay talaga si Raymond especially in the All-Filipino [Cup] (the conference's former name) kasi he's our best defensive player," said Garcia about Almazan's status.

With only Jewel Ponferada and Jay Washington taking turns in manning the slot for ROS, Garcia expressed his worry that it could take a toll on them as they will play for the third time in five nights and against dominant big guy June Mar Fajardo at that.

"Medyo limited ang mga bigs namin. It's gonna be hard for us to guard June Mar for 48 minutes," Garcia continued.

He even said that having to play again on a Friday after playing two nights back is not an advantage for the team compared to the one-week break by Blackwater.

"Medyo mahirap maglaro nang ganun, but we just have to be positive. Technically, dapat sanay na sila sa gamitin situation," Garcia further said.

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