MANILA, Philippines -- Meralco big man Raymond Almazan would have been a shoo-in for the Gilas Pilipinas roster if not for a personal matter that kept him from joining the team.
This, according to Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone who is part of the national team's coaching staff under Chot Reyes.
Almazan was called up to the squad's 24-man pool but did not attend Gilas Pilipinas practice this past week, when they were preparing for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Replying to a query on Twitter, Cone explained Almazan's absence from the 13-man roster unveiled by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Monday morning.
"Raymond was super excited to join but had to beg off due to family issues regarding the health of his son," said Cone.
"He certainly would have made the 12," the coach added.
Almazan last played for Gilas in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China. He told reporters after Meralco's exit from the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup that he was honored to have been selected again, but also said that he first wanted to "clear his mind" before reporting to the national team.
Leading the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the fourth window are Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson and Adelaide center Kai Sotto.
They are joined by Japan-based professionals in Ray Parks Jr., Dwight Ramos, Kiefer Ravena, and Thirdy Ravena, PBA players Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra, Jamie Malonzo of NorthPort, Chris Newsome of Meralco, and Calvin Oftana of NLEX, UP big man Carl Tamayo and free agent Roosevelt Adams.
They will play Lebanon on August 25 before flying back to Manila to host Saudi Arabia on August 29.