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    Yancy de Ocampo hoping to complete Grand Slam this time

    Aug 22, 2019
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    YANCY de Ocampo has been in this position before.

    Winning the first two conferences, his team had a golden chance to complete the rare Grand Slam feat.

    Until he wasn't.

    A part of the 2014 San Mig Coffee squad, de Ocampo found himself traded to GlobalPort before the third conference, denying him a shot to be part of history.

    That's why with the 2019 San Miguel team claiming the first two titles and a chance to complete the Grand Slam this season, all he wishes is for lighning to not strike twice this time out - for him to stay put and not get traded.

    "Isa yung Grand Slam sa mga gusto kong ma-experience. Sana ipagkaloob sa akin," he said with a grin on Wednesday during the team's fans day at Robinson's Galleria.

    The 39-year-old doubled down on his earlier pronouncements that if the Beermen achieve the feat, that would be enough for him to hang his sneakers for good.

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    "Para ma-experience ko yung Grand Slam, iba yun. Yung ngayon pa nga lang, more than enough na," said the St. Francis of Assisi product, who was the top overall pick in the 2002 PBA Draft.

    San Miguel's recent string of success has allowed de Ocampo to establish himself as the winningest among active players with 12 rings to boot, slightly edging his former teammate Rafi Reavis who has 11.

    And if the Beermen win one more and hike his own trophy count to 13, that's really more than enough of a haul for the 17-year veteran.

    De Ocampo, however, knows that the continuity of San Miguel's dynasty lies on its main players, specifically on its bigs June Mar Fajardo and Christian Standhardinger whom he's worked with closely in the team's practices.

    "Gusto talaga nilang manalo. Alam mo naman sa San Miguel, limited ang minutes dahil nandito lahat ng star players. Alam nila na kailangan pag naglaro sila, kailangang ibigay ang lahat sa depensa," he said, lauding the workrate of those two bigs.

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      But just like any Grand Slam chase, nothing comes easy, especially for a team as loaded as the Beermen.

      And de Ocampo urged his peers to learn from the lessons of the past, most notably in San Miguel's failed Grand Slam quest back in 2017.

      "Same situation, same scenario kami ngayon. Noon, masaya lang kami at di namin napaguusapan yung third conference," the 6-foot-9 center said. "Pero ngayon, siguro mas ok kami, pero one game at a time lang. Wala namang madali dito eh."

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      PHOTO: PBA Images
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