OVER the years, Talk ‘N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo has become known for his graceful spin moves around the paint and a nice touch from three-point land rare for a big man like him.
But on Wednesday night, the 6-5 Gilas Pilipinas mainstay reminded everybody that he was - and still is - one of the most athletic big men in the pro league when he pulled off a highlight-reel dunk against San Miguel Beer in a 113-93 Talk 'N Text victory at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ranged against rival Arwind Santos on the low block, the 33-year-old De Ocampo spun past the SMB star before going for a towering dunk against the 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo, who was a split-second too late to defend the lane.
The man can still jump; and the dunk was poster-pretty.
See De Ocampo dunk from this Sports5 video.
Asked about it later, De Ocampo said he may have gained significant weight over the years that affected his elevation, but insisted he can still sky for a dunk like he used to when the opportunity presents itself.
“Pareho lang naman ako nung dati. Ganun din naman ako maglaro, pero napatiyempo lang na nalibre, kaya kahit paano, na-swertehan,” a smiling De Ocampo told Spin.ph on Thursday.
As a case in point, the Talk 'N Text stretch-four forwrd pointed to an in-your-face dunk he pulled off over Iranian big man Arman Zangeneh during Gilas’ match against powerhouse Iran in last year’s Fiba-Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.
“Nakatiyempo ako kasi 'nung dinakdakan ko yung Iranian sa (2014) Fiba Asia Cup,” recalled the three-time PBA Mythical First team member.
Here's a YouTube video of that dunk:
De Ocampo said he grew up watching highlight dunks from childhood PBA idols like Danny Ildefonso, Nelson Asaytono, Noli Locsin and Victor Pablo and insisted he's not too old to make more of them when the opportunity arises.
“Basta healthy at makakuha ng magandang timing,” he said. “Sana makatiyempo uli sa next game. Siguro, kahit mahigpit ang depensa, pipilitin natin para kahit paano makita rin ng mga tao."