RANIDEL De Ocampo is now contemplating on ending his career with the national team following the scary back injury he suffered while doing gym work with Talk ‘N Text on Sunday at the Moro Lorenzo gym.
For several seasons now, De Ocampo has been playing non-stop with the Tropang Texters in the PBA and with Gilas in the offseason before he injured his back, which was later diagnosed as a herniated disc.
De Ocampo’s manager and representative Charlie Dy admitted the year-round schedule may have taken a heavy toll on the player.
Player and agent had a talk on Monday night at the Makati Medical Center and Dy admitted the forward’s future stint with the national team was among those discussed.
“Sinasabi kasi niya since high school pa lang naglalaro na siya sa national team, and then later on nga with Gilas,” said Dy in an interview with Ria Arevalo for the program Hoop Talk over DZSR Sports Radio 918.
According to Dy, De Ocampo believes continuous playing with little rest in between has somehow made him vulnerable to injury.
After a grueling campaign last season that saw the Tropang Texters win a championship in the Commissioner’s Cup, De Ocampo joined the national team during the break and played in three international tournaments including the Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
In fairness to Talk ‘N Text management, Dy said De Ocampo was told to take a rest following his stint with Gilas, never mind if he’ll be missing some parts of the Tropang Texters’ training camp.
But the 33-year-old veteran out of St. Francis College showed up for training just the same to set a good example for his younger teammates.
“Dapat talaga kasi pahinga muna siya dahil tuluy-tuloy na (after Gilas),” said Dy. “Kaya lang ayaw niyang lumiban ng ensayo dahil gusto niya to set a good example sa mga teammates niya. Kaya mapapahanga ka sa dedikasyon niya.”
Dy, however, declined to say if next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be De Ocampo’s final stint with the national team. He was one of the 17 players released by the PBA to the Gilas Pilipinas training pool upon the request of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
At the same time, Dy didn't discount that this could be a spur of the moment thing although De Ocampo is indeed, considering giving up playing for Gilas.
“Nasabi niya yun (last night) dahil grabe yung pain na nararamdaman niya,” said Dy of De Ocampo, who has been showing progress in the short period of time he’s been confined in the hospital.
Dy recounted the fear the ‘stretch 4’ forward had to undergo shortly after hurting his back.
“Ang feeling kasi niya parang paralyzed siya. Nung hindi niya na magalaw yung katawan niya natakot na siya, dun na pumasok yung pangamba niya,” said Dy of the harrowing experience.