After string of injuries, De Ocampo proud to be of help for Meralco anew
Ranidel de Ocampo had been out of action since the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, and it was just fitting that his return fell against the same team that haunted Meralco two seasons last season.
Meralco lost in a tough seven-game series against Ginebra in the title round of the PBA’s third conference where de Ocampo suffered a muscle tear on his left calf in Game 3.
What was initially a month-long recovery period turned into almost seven months of inactivity after de Ocampo suffered an Achilles injury in the early days of April 2018.
The veteran forward finally put those injuries behind him and helped the Bolts get the 93-92 win over the Gin Kings in the PBA Commisisoner’s Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I’m proud because I was able to help the team in any way and I’m proud of my teammates because they really worked hard in the offensive and defensive ends,” said de Ocampo in Filipino.
“Our import [Arinze Onuaku] and the coaching staff had a well-thought-of game plan and we were able to execute it well, not perfect but it was okay.”
The 36-year-old de Ocampo finished with five points, three rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes in his first game back.
Meralco lit up from the floor and scored on half of its shot attempts, 41-of-82, while limiting Ginebra to 39 percent shooting, 31-of-79.
De Ocampo said his minutes would still be limited as he tries to gauge if he’s fully recovered to play longer.
“We’re still mixing it up, maybe I will get 18 to 20 minutes of playing time,” said de Ocampo. “I think that’s the direction I’m heading just to see where my body’s at.”
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