Age doesn’t matter as De Ocampo still ‘best stretch four’ in PBA at 35
At 35-years-old with a lot of mileage, Ranidel de Ocampo may not be the same player he once was, but Meralco head coach Norman Black thinks the veteran forward still has a lot left in his tank.
De Ocampo, who was traded to the Bolts as the main piece of a three-team deal on Monday, is in his 13th PBA season and will turn 36 in December.
“I don’t really look too much on age. I believe Arwind is 35-years-old an he’s playing one of his best basketball right now,” Black, who shared four titles with de Ocampo at Talk ‘N Text, told INQUIRER.net Tuesday.
Santos, who has been playing really well for the San Miguel Beermen this season, is actually 36.
De Ocampo, who joined Meralco in practice for the first time Monday, was a star during his nine year stay with Talk ‘N Text where he won six championships and two Finals MVP awards.
Black is convinced de Ocampo is still one of the best big men in the PBA.
“Ranidel is still one of the best, if not the best stretch four in the league today,” he praised.
The champion coach added he doesn’t plan on using de Ocampo for an extended period of time on the court. What Black expects from him is to do what he does best: Shoot 3s and post-up.
“We’re not going to ask him to play 40 minutes for us, we just need him to play his role as a floor spacer and post-up.”
Black also thinks de Ocampo can still play for “another four years if he wants to.”
“I personally feel he’s not the type of player who depends on athletic ability. He is a very intelligent player.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.