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    Yancy de Ocampo firm on retirement despite SMB need to fill Fajardo void

    Feb 6, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    YANCY de Ocampo looks firm in his decision to retire after 17 seasons in the PBA.

    The 6-foot-9 center, who FedEx made the top overall selection in the 2002 PBA Rookie Draft, has called time on a career that saw him become a 12-time champion.

    De Ocampo, 39, has had a well-travelled career starting with the Express, before finding his way to Talk 'N Text, Ginebra, Purefoods, GlobalPort, and eventually, San Miguel.

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    At the peak of his career, the dependable Caviteno out of St. Francis of Assisi became a Mythical Second Team member in 2008 during his time with the Tropang Texters.

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    De Ocampo was a part of the San Mig side which won the first two conferences in 2014 before he was traded to NorthPort, denying him oa chance to be part of a grand slam team.

    He came close again twice with the Beermen when they won the Philippine and Commissioner's Cups before failing in the Governors' Cup both in 2017 and 2019.

    San Miguel was trying to talk De Ocampo into shelving his retirement plans, especially after June Mar Fajardo's devastating shin injury left the team with a gaping hole in the center position.

    But it seems like the elder statesman is already firm in his decision to call it a career.

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      His younger brother Ranidel gave a heartfelt tribute to Yancy's long PBA run on Thursday, writing: "Happy Retirement Kuya! Ikaw ang nauna at sinundan ko ng yapak at landas."

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      "Sa pagkabata at pagtatanggol mo sa amin kapag may nang-aapi. Sa pagtakas natin para maligo sa dagat nung tayo ay 7 yrs old pa lang. Sa paghahati natin ng isang maliit na delata sa hapag kainan. Sa bawat hakbang at pagod, simula sa pagsakay ng Dyip, Tricycle, Baby Bus, Mini Bus, FX, Bus at LRT. hanggang sa Inter Color, Inter Barangay, St. Francis, RP Youth, PBL, PBA at National Team. Sa pinagdaanan natin sa buhay at sa basketball. Ikaw ang original na stretch 5 at postman ng Pilipinas. Maraming Salamat!"

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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