GILAS Pilipinas can heave a sigh of relief as Ranidel De Ocampo’s ankle injury doesn’t seem as bad as it looked Friday night.
The national team big man said he has been medically advised to refrain from any basketball-related activities for the next three days to make sure he recovers fast in time for the opening of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship on August 1.
De Ocampo suffered an ankle injury Friday night during the national team’s 92-89 win over Kazakhstan in their friendly match at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
He said after the game he had a hard time running the floor as he felt pain in his ankle.
It turned out the injury was not as serious as initially diagnosed.
“Di na kailangang mag-alala. Pahinga lang daw ako ng three days, so aabot pa naman sa (Fiba-Asia men’s championships) opening,” the 6-foot-5 De Ocampo told Spin.ph shortly after his check up with Dr. Isagani Leal, a rehabilitation medicine specialist at his clinic in West Ave., Quezon City Saturday.
De Ocampo said he spent several hours icing his right ankle shortly after the game to avoid swelling, before meeting up with Dr. Leal for the check up.
“May nakitang magang joint sa paa ko sa ultrasound. Buti na lang pahinga lang. Kasi di ko tinigilang mag-yelo para di masyadong mamaga,” added the 31-year-old native of Tanza, Cavite.
The forward out of St. Francis of Assissi College said he’ll still show up in Gilas’ practices at the Mall of Asia Arena as a show of support for the team.
But in order to keep himself in shape, he will also do other workouts that won’t entail the use of his feet.
“Mag-work out din lang ako para lang di tuluyang mawala sa shape. Siyempre, ganun talaga, basketball iyan, di naman maiwasan `yung physical na laro,” he said.
“Handa lang dapat masaktan, kasi sa Asia, kadalasan, kung sino `yung physical maglaro, `yun ang nakakakuha ng panalo,” added De Ocampo, noted for his outside shooting and strong physical inside presence.
Aside from de Ocampo, guard and Talk `N Text teammate Jason Castro also sprained his ankle, although he said the injury doesn’t appear to be serious just moments after the scrimmage with the Kazakhs, which the nationals won, 92-89.