RANIDEL De Ocampo contributed right away for Meralco in his return from a lengthy absence due to an injury.
De Ocampo finished with 10 points and five rebounds for the Bolts in their 93-92 overtime loss to Phoenix Pulse on Wednesday in their season opener.
The Meralco veteran was coming off tough 2017-2018 season, playing only 11 games due to a leg injury.
“Medyo nakaramdam din ng pagod pero at the same time, na-enjoy naman ‘yung game,” De Ocampo said. “Kahit papaano, nakabalik na rin. Proud ako na kahit papaano, nakatulong na ako sa team. Proud ako sa team na lumalaban. Sana makabawi kami sa next game.”
The 37-year-old De Ocampo made a big play late in regulation when he scored on a putback to force overtime. Unfortunately for the Bolts, the Fuel Masters took the victory via a game-winning putback by Calvin Abueva.
“Napa-tiyempo na sa akin napunta ‘yung bola,” said De Ocampo about his overtime-sending basket in the 33-second mark of overtime. “Medyo suwerte rin. Pero hindi naman dapat mangyari pa ‘yun kung may tama kaming ginawa nung una. Iko-correct namin ‘yun.”
De Ocampo was referring to a shaky start by the Bolts, scoring only nine points in the first quarter that forced them to play catch up all game long.
“Siguro maganda ‘yung ikot ng bola namin. Gumagalawa kami. May pasensya kami. Tuluy-tuloy ang movement. ‘Yun lang, medyo meron lang mga pagkakamali na kailangan i-correct sa next game,” said De Ocampo.