RANIDEL De Ocampo is all set for his season debut after Meralco finally activated him for the team’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup showdown against Barangay Ginebra on Friday night.
De Ocampo hasn’t seen action since Game 4 of the Governors Cup Finals last year when he went down with a calf injury, forcing him to sit out the entire Philippine Cup campaign.
He was set for a return before the start of the mid-season conference but suffered a mild tear in his Achilles during practice that further pushed his comeback.
But on Thursday, the Bolts officially put the veteran ‘stretch 4’ back in their active roster and made him available for the 7 p.m. match against the Kings at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Yes he will,” said Meralco coach Norman Black when asked if the 36-year-old big man out of St. Francis would be playing his first game this year.
De Ocampo later announced his comeback on his Twitter account @jutaca33.
“I’m going to play tomorrow vs. Ginebra. My very first game this season,” he said.
De Ocampo’s return should complement import Arinze Onuaku with added heft and size inside for the Bolts, who are currently locked in the middle of the standings with a 3-2 record.
The return of De Ocampo comes just after the Bolts also reactivated shooting guard Garvo Lanete.
Meralco is coming off an 81-79 loss to Magnolia two weeks ago in a game that saw the Hotshots steal the victory in the endgame.