Almazan’s trade stock rises

Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine. ROMAN PROSPERO

At least six teams reportedly expressed willingness to trade for Raymond Almazan despite him being tagged as “missing in action” by Rain or Shine in the ongoing Governors’ Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

A source closely monitoring the situation said Almazan’s trade value is at an all-time high and could land a handsome contract should the Elasto Painters decide to ship him to one of the six teams who have shown interest.

He, however, still has a live contract with Rain or Shine and can’t entertain any offer until he becomes an unrestricted free agent on 31 August 2019.

“Six teams are interested to trade for Raymond,” said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“But they are not engaging in any official moves especially with Raymond still tied to a contract with Rain or Shine.”

The 6-foot-8 Almazan has been missing in action for a week now. The last time he showed up was two days before their match against Alaska on 3 October at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.

According to head coach Caloy Garcia, Almazan excused himself due to family reasons.
But he has been a no-show since then as he missed the Alaska game and even their match against Blackwater last Sunday that eventually led to two crucial losses for the Elasto Painters.

As of yesterday’s Rain or Shine practice, Almazan is still nowhere to be found.

“There’s no news on him yet,” Garcia said.

Even Almazan’s agent, Danny Espiritu, remains clueless on the whereabouts of the lanky center

“There’s still no update,” he said. “It was three days ago when he last texted me, I have no update until now. He didn’t tell me where he is right now so I have no clue.”

Espiritu, however, stressed that Almazan assured him that all is well and he will come back when he settles his personal issues.

“He told to me to just wait. He’s just settling his problems. He said it will be over soon,” Espiritu added.

In the meantime, Espiritu is trying his best to remain in touch with the Rain or Shine camp, especially team governor Atty. Mamerto Mondragon, who is more than willing to solve this issue once and for all.

“I’m in talks with Atty. Mondragon,” he said.

This is not the first time for Almazan to go AWOL. He also did the stunt early this year with Gilas Pilipinas, which led to his exit from the national team training pool in the second window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers last February.

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