VETERAN forward Ranidel de Ocampo is unperturbed despite two losses by Talk 'N Text that took it out of the race for the top two spots, saying there is time to regain their footing with still one week left in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup double-elimination round schedule.
De Ocampo had an opportunity to send the game against Rain or Shine into overtime but his desperation long jumper off JR Quinahan’s straight-up defense missed the mark, allowing the E-Painters to escape with a 90-88 victory against the Texters on Saturday.
“Kahit ganun nangyayari (back-to-back losses), positive pa rin kami kasi may mission kami, huwag lang sana kami bibitaw,” De Ocampo said, whose team also dropped a shocking 100-102 loss to lowly Air21 early last week.
The 6-foot-5 product of St. Francis of Assisi actually had a scintillating night against the E-Painters, firing six triples on the way to a game-high 24 points.
But he failed to nail the biggest shot of the night that could have sent the game into overtime.
Talk ’N Text could still nail the No. 4 spot by sweeping its remaining two games against resurgent San Mig Super Coffee on Friday followed by league-leader Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, marking the close of the elimination round.
“Dalawang laro na lang eh so kailagan quality ang ilalaro namin sa next two games para pagdating sa playoffs, masasabi naming ready na kami,” said the 32-year-old from Tanza, Cavite.
With matches against two quality opponents, De Ocampo said they can’t be content on just being assured of a quarterfinal berth.
“Nandun pa rin yung (winning) mentality na kahit paano, dapat sa mga susunod na close games, maipanalo namin. Eh may mga pagkakataon talaga na di ka mananalo all the way ng walang gagawin ang kalaban mo eh,” explained the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.
“Lahat ng teams sa PBA eh malalakas pa sa amin, so kailangan lang naming pagbutihin ang effort at paglalaro namin.”
De Ocampo is the Texters' second leading scorer with his 14.6 points per game average, while grabbing 7.5 rebounds and issuing 1.4 assists this conference.