RANIDEL de Ocampo was happy to get back on the court, but took more pride with how Meralco played as a collective unit in its 93-82 win over Barangay Ginebra on Friday.
"Masarap," he admitted when asked how it felt to finally play again after missing almost two conferences due to his calf and Achilles injuries.
De Ocampo, though, was quick to defer the attention to his teammates, saying: "Proud lang ako kasi nakatulong ako sa team kahit paano at proud ako sa teammates ko kasi talagang nagtrabaho sila sa opensa at depensa, lalo na yung import namin."
The veteran forward tallied five points, three rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes of play and gave himself a passing grade in his first game back, knowing he did all he could despite only having four full practices with the Bolts.
"Kahit paano, natimpla naman ako ng maayos. Lalaro ako ng 18 to 20 minutes, siguro ganoon muna hanggang makita nila na ok na lahat sa akin. Yung katawan, yung timing, lahat," he said.
De Ocampo is in no rush to get back to 100-percent condition, pacing himself and knowing the bigger wars are still ahead for the Bolts in this PBA Commissioner's Cup.
"Mas gusto namin na kumpleto kami sa playoffs at maging handa kami. Pero kahit na sinong team ang makalaban namin, bibigay pa rin namin ang best namin," he said as Meralco sits at the top half of the standings with a 4-2 card.
"Hindi naman namin kino-consider na statement game itong panalo sa Ginebra o ano, pero sa ngayon, mas importante sa amin yung next game against Phoenix."