WITH or without June Mar Fajardo, Alaska believes it will have its hands full against San Mguel in the succeeding games of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals because of one man: Yancy De Ocampo.
De Ocampo has stepped up admirably since Fajardo went down with a knee injury, keeping the Beermen competitive inside and giving Alaska coach Alex Compton enough reason to worry even with the Aces up 2-0 in the best-of-seven finals.
Compton said De Ocampo's ability to hit from long range, passing ability and his basketball IQ have given a new dimension to the Beermen's game.
“He’s got incredibly soft hands, he can shoot the threes, and he passes the ball very well,” said De Ocampo.
De Ocampo's resurgence has been a silver lining for what has so far been a frustrating series for the Beermen. He finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while going 2-of-4 clip from three-point range in Game One and ollowed it up in Game Two with a double-double effort of 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Compton said Alaska has been forced to double-team De Ocampo because of his versatility.
“He is backing down, backing down, and now he is close to the basket. But once you help, because he is a good passer, he is kicking it out and shooting it to an open man,” said Compton.
“I thought it’s a great move for coach Leo (Austria) to pick him up and obviously, he’s been maximized. He is big, literally and figuratively, of an offensive threat for them and he’s played great the last two games,” said Compton.