CHANGSHA, China – Ranidel de Ocampo had enough of the physical antics of Abdulaziz Alhamidi that he just gave back what the tough Kuwaiti player had been dishing out to Gilas Pilipinas.
A commotion marred the endgame of Gilas Pilipinas’ 110-64 rout of Kuwait on Friday in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship as Alhamidi lost his cool after figuring in a rough play against De Ocampo which was left uncaught by game officials.
A fuming Alhamidi left the game with a bloodied lower lip as he was ejected out of the game for angrily confronting game officials following the incident.
The furor took place in the final 48 seconds and the outcome of the game already settled.
Apparently, the Kuwaiti player had been hurting some of the Gilas players during the course of the one-sided game, among them Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Dondon Hontiveros, Jason Castro, and later on De Ocampo himself.
"Nung sinuntok niya na ako sa b@%&.g ibang usapan na yun,” said De Ocampo just before heading to the Gilas dugout.
“Kahit anong mangyari kailangan kong protektahan yung mga teammates ko.”
The veteran power forward said Alhamidi had been hurting the Filipinos right from the very start.
“Start pa lang ng game yung No. 12 masyado ng nananakit. Sinaktan niya si Jason, si Dondon, si Terrence, si Calvin. Nung bandang huli pati ako sinaktan niya na, so parang sobra na,” De Ocampo recalled.
“Sinampal niya si Dondon, binigwasan niya si Jason, binalibag niya si Calvin. Dalawang beses niya natamaan si Terrence."
Yousef Khaled, the Kuwait coach, later went over to the Gilas Pilipinas bench and shook hands with the team members to somehow ease the tension.
Alhamidi finished with nine points before getting thrown out as Kuwait finished its campaign in the first round of the preliminary winless in three games.
Gilas on the other hand, advanced into the next round with a 2-1 slate.