OTHER than his desire to have Meralco as the final stop of his career, Ranidel de Ocampo has one more wish upon signing a new two-year deal with the Bolts.
RDO wants to help the franchise win its first-ever PBA championship.
“Gagawin ko ang best ko at ng mga teammates ko para manalo ang team at maging successful ang Meralco,” said de Ocampo on Thursday night during the PBA Press Corps Awards at the Gloria Maris Restaurant in Gateway Mall, where the native of Tanza, Cavite was honored as part of the All-Interview team.
“Masaya ako at nakapirma ako sa Meralco.”
Since being picked fourth overall in the 2004 draft by FedEx (Air21), the 35-year-old de Ocampo has only suited up for three ballclubs.
“Sana nga dito na ako sa Meralco hanggang matapos ang career ko bilang basketball player,” he intimated.
And it’s the reason why he’s raring to help give Meralco its very first franchise title.
He was actually on the verge of achieving the goal right in his first conference stint with the team as the Bolts made it back to the finals of the season-ending Governors Cup opposite Barangay Ginebra.
Unfortunately, injury struck in Game 3 of the title series when RDO suffered a tear in his calf that forced him to miss the rest of the finals. The Bolts lost to the Kings in the decisive Game 7 in front of a record crowd of 54,000-plus at the Philippine Arena.
Despite the injury, Meralco showed its faith in de Ocampo’s leadership and experience by giving him a two-year contract.
“Malaking pasalamat talaga sa Meralco management, kay Mam Betty (Siy-Yap), Boss Al Panlilio, Boss MVP, (team) manager Paolo Trillo at kay coach Norman Black at nagtiwala sila sa akin para maglaro sa team,” said RDO, who won six championships in nine seasons with TnT Katropa before being traded to the Bolts in a three-team deal that also involved Phoenix.
The Bolts have already opened training camp this week in preparation for the league’s 43rd season.