RANIDEL de Ocampo insisted TNT KaTropa wasn't out to statement that it can succeed without Jayson Castro after outlasting Barangay Ginebra, 108-103, in their PBA Philippine Cup encounter on Sunday night.
Playing for the second straight game without the resting Castro, the Texters fought back from 14 points down early in the fourth quarter to register their first win after starting the all-Filipino conference with a loss.
De Ocampo made the Texters miss Castro less as he carried his team on his back, pouring in 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including 15 points in the payoff period to pull off the reversal.
“Kinausap ko naman si Jayson eh, na habang nagpapalakas siya, gagawin muna namin yung trabaho namin,” De Ocampo said. “Wala namang statement o ano. Pamilya kami eh; kung mayroong nanghina o nagpahinga, kailangan naming punan yun, magtulungan.”
“Buti nanalo kami habang hinihintay namin si Jayson,” he added. “Maglalaro na siya next game. malaking bagay yun na galing kami sa panalo tapos babalik na siya.”
While he took over after being limited to just two points in the first half, De Ocampo lauded the Texters’ depth as seven players scored in twin digits after only two players reached double-digit scoring in their loss to Rain or Shine.
“Siguro isa din yun sa pagkakaiba sa last game namin kasi last game, hindi naman ganun yung scoring namin,” De Ocampo said. “At the same time, second game na namin at nakikita na namin yung mali namin last game.
“Ngayon naman, binibigyan ko ng credit yung teammate ko, nag-sipag sila, nandun yung effort, hindi sumuko kahit malaki yung lamang,” added the Gilas stretch forward, who added seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes.