ILOILO CITY—Raymond Almazan knows just how big the shoes he’s going to fill in the PBA All-Star Game this Sunday.
But that hardly worries the Meralco standout, who was tapped as a replacement for the injured San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo under Japeth Aguilar’s namesake squad.
“Coach Tim (Cone) just told us to enjoy the game while playing hard,” he told reporters over dinner on Saturday at Hotel Del Rio here.
“He told us to give the fans a good contest, that even if it’s an All-Star showcase, we’re still expected to play a high-quality game,” he said.
Like Friday night’s rookie-sophomore-junior exhibition, Sunday’s main event features some tweaks to incentivize real competition.
Player timeouts have been scrubbed and teams can only sue for time twice per period. Among other additions are dunks being made worth three points, and a field goal from 27 feet from the basket four points.
Aside from an assurance from the seasoned mentor, Almazan also will be having his son, six-year-old Rayl Jacob cheering from the stands. So count on the stretch big man to turn in a fine outing when the revelries at City of Passi Arena get going.
“He wanted to experience the All-Star (weekend),” he said.
“And I want him to feel how nice it is being around his idols and his kuyas,” Almazan added.