RANIDEL de Ocampo rallied TNT KaTropa to leave its painful Game 5 loss to San Miguel behind and instead focus on survival as the team gears up for a do-or-die Game 6 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Sunday.
De Ocampo finished with a team-high 19 points to go along six rebounds in the KaTropa’s 111-102 loss on Friday. But as bad as it was, there’s really no other way for them but to move forward.
“Unahan pa rin naman yan. Kung sino yung unang maka-apat na panalo. Yun ang iniisip namin ngayon. Wala kaming ibang iniisip kundi bumawi,”said the veteran big man, who gave his younger teammates a few comforting words after the match.
“Sinabi ko lang na heads up lang. Force natin yung Game 7, bounce back at magpahinga. Sinabi ko rin na maraming offensive rebounds yung kalaban. Sinabihan ko rin na mag-ready na sa viewing at pag-aaralan namin yung laro. Okay naman nakinig naman sila.”
De Ocampo rued his team’s response to San Miguel’s third quarter flurry, which according to him, they were already anticipating.
After opening a 61-46 lead at halftime, the Beermen responded with a huge36-18 run to take an 82-79 lead entering the fourth quarter.
It was a run from where the Ka-Tropa never recovered from as Alex Cabagnot wrapped things up for the Beermen in the final period.
“Natalo kami sa third quarter. Nasayang yung lamang namin, Malaki. Naubos. Nagkaron ng turnovers, tapos tumabla sila, offensive rebounds,” he mentioned one by one the factors that led to the team’s Game Five downfall.
“Hindi naman relaxed. Alam naman namin na lagi kaming natatalo sa third quarter. Inanticipate na nga namin e, pero nangyari pa rin. Magaling talaga yung team nila na San Miguel,” he added.
At the end of the day, the longtime national team mainstay said there’s no one else to blame but themselves.
Good thing the KaTropa still have one more game to salvage those mishaps.
“Siguro meron silang ginawang iba na hindi rin namin masyadong napag-handaan. Kasalanan pa rin namin kasi may mga offensive rebounds, may mga turnovers, hindi naman yan kasama sa mga adjustment e. Sa mga players na rin.”