From GILASable to GILAS Able: Raymond Almazan

It's good to be right.

Last December 4, this blogger named Rain Or Shine's Raymond Almazan as one of the GILASables (players who should be accorded an invite to the Gilas 4.0 pool). (Read the article here)

Last Monday, Almazan’s game long brilliance was the key to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters cruising past the suddenly toothless Talk ‘N Test Tropang Texters to make their way into the seminfinal round. Almazan shone with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots while making life extremely difficult for the Texters’ duo of promising big men Moala Tautuua and Troy Rosario (both, incidentally, are part of the Gilas pool)

After the game, this happened.

Bye-bye, Ian Sangalang. He was one of the most surprising picks made by Tab Baldwin, seeing as he was coming off an injury-filled year and had not played in a long while. But his height (always a big factor when talking about international basketball), his varied skill set and his potential was enough for Baldwin to take a gamble.

Two months after informal practices had begun, Sangalang has earned the dubious distinction of being the Gilas invitee who barely showed up to the once-a-week practices. What made it worse was the coaching staff seems to have no idea why he seems so disinterested. Some point to his past history with injuries, others to the tension-filled relationship the SBP has with the SMC teams. 

Whatever Sangalang’s actual reason may be, his absences may have been enough to spur Baldwin into looking for other options that fulfill very specific needs. And while Almazan’s game is closer to Japeth Aguilar’s while Sangalang’s is nearer to Ranidel de Ocampo’s, I think it’s safe to say that Almazan has overtaken Sangalang in the race for one of those 12 coveted Gilas roster spots.

And if Almazan continues improving, who’s to say whose spot he might be gunning for next?

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