RANIDEL De Ocampo has made it official: his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament was definitely his last.
The longtime national player has announced weeks before that the Manila Olympic qualifiers would be his last with Gilas, and his performance - coupled with the Filipinos' loss - only validated that decision, he said.
"Eto na talaga yung sign na kailangan ko na talagang magpahinga sa Gilas kasi di na rin ako masyadong nakakalaro tapos konti na lang minutes,” the 34-year-old De Ocampo told reporters following Gilas’ defeat against New Zealand on Wednesday night.
De Ocampo only played for 33 seconds in the 89-80 loss to the Tall Blacks , a day after finishing with three points and two rebounds in 15 minutes of action against France.
He later said it was time to step aside.
“Marami na ring bagong players,” said De Ocampo.
As he briefly looked back on his Gilas career, De Ocampo said he remained proud of his accomplishments.
“Proud naman ako sa mga na-contribute ko sa bansa natin. Habang buhay ko itong ite-treasure at ipagmamalaki,” said De Ocampo.
He later made the announcement on his Twitter account, and Gilas coach Tab Baldwin promptly thanked De Ocampo for his 'service, commitment, and class.'
"It's been a privilege to work with you as both a player and a person," replied Baldwin on De Ocampo's tweet.