De Ocampo, Hodge to miss first month of Philippine Cup
Meralco’s redemption waltz into the PBA Philippine Cup is off to a shaky start as two of its main players won’t be suiting up in time for the Dec. 17 opening.
Forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge are still nursing injuries and head coach Norman Black said the two are likely to return in the early January.
“Ranidel and Cliff won’t be starting the conference with us because of injuries, hopefully Reynel Hugnatan will be back in time for the start of the conference,” said Black Wednesday at Meralco Gym.
De Ocampo is still nursing the calf injury that forced him to sit out the last four games of the Governors’ Cup Finals while Hodge had surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankles.
With De Ocampo sitting out until January and Hodge until the end of December, Meralco will look to rely on 14-year veteran Reynel Hugnatan to take care of big man duties.
“It’s going to be a little difficult for us especially missing key players,” said Black. “We’ll just try to be as competitive as possible.”
The Bolts have not reached the post-season of the All-Filipino Cup since their playoff appearance two years ago. This despite making the finals of the Governors’ Cup for back-to-back seasons.
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