By Kevin Sox
Rain or Shine Elasto Painter and Gilas Pilipinas men stalwart Raymond Almazan has reportedly been shipped to the Meralco Bolts, as per several online sources in the Philippines.
Per reports, Almazan, the third overall pick in the loaded 2013 PBA Draft, will be traded to the Bolts in exchange of Meralco’s 2019 and 2021 first rounders.
The Bolts are a team in dire need of a younger, more versatile bigs as their current veteran frontcourt mainstays Reynel Hugnatan and Ranidel de Ocampo may both call it a career in the immediate future.
Almazan will offer rebounding, rim protection, and even decent three-point shooting like his elder counterparts should the trade materialize.
The papers have already been submitted to the PBA and the league will review the proposal on Tuesday (Manila time).
Almazan has had a roller coaster ride for the Elasto Painters following the departure of mentor Yeng Guiao to transferred to NLEX two years ago.
The lanky big man went AWOL in October 2018, and current Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia confirmed the unfortunate development during that time, saying they have not been able to communicate with Almazan for a certain stretch.
Almazan averaged 8 PPG, 6 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in the Philippine Cup.
If the trade gets approved, the Elasto Painters will look to establish Norbert Torres as their main big man alongside Beau Belga, while having more picks in the future for assets.