RANIDEL De Ocampo believes the presence of members from the previous Fiba Basketball World Cup team will be vital to Gilas Pilipinas in this year’s campaign.
De Ocampo said he is optimistic about the chances of Gilas Pilipinas in this year’s World Cup especially with the team not lacking in experience from the 2014 team.
The Philippines begins its campaign in the Fiba World Cup on Saturday when Gilas goes up against Italy in Foshan, China.
The Meralco veteran was part of the 2014 team that played in the World Cup along with Andray Blatche, Japeth Aguilar, Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo and Paul Lee, who once again made the squad it to the Fiba campaign.
The 37-year-old De Ocampo said the presence of the five players will definitely be beneficial to the squad in guiding the young guns of Gilas Pilipinas.
“Nandiyan naman mga dati naming kasama like si Japeth, Gabe, June Mar, Paul Lee. Alam naman nila kung paano ‘yan, paano i-guide mga kasama nila,” said De Ocampo.
“Alam nila na hindi biro ang tatahakin nilang laban. Ibigay lang nila best nila at mag-ingat lang sa laro. At the same time, best effort, best game, dapat almost perfect game. Sana maging maganda resulta ng magiging laban,” De Ocampo said.
Aside from the veterans, De Ocampo also likes the chances of the team because of the presence of height with the inclusion of wingman Troy Rosario and Raymond Almazan from the final 12.
“Malaki ang line-up ngayon. Dati kami lang ni Ping (Marc Pingris) ang big man. Ngayon, may Almazan na, may Troy pa, malalaki ‘yung wing natin,” said De Ocampo.