UNDERSIZED “stretch four” Ranidel de Ocampo will be sliding down to the small forward spot in the Fiba World Cup in Spain after his impressive showing in Gilas Pilipinas’ third place finish in the Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.
The sweet-shooting De Ocampo, the 2014 PBA Governors Cup Best Player awardee, averaged 12.3 points a game in the Wuhan tournament while shooting an impressive 71.4 percent from the two-point zone and 45.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
“We’re playing RDO at the three spot so that he gets used to it. He played well at the three spot in Wuhan,” Gilas team manager Aboy Castro told Spin.ph.
Castro, who along with the rest of Gilas are in Miami, Florida for a two-week training camp, explained that new naturalized center Andray Blatche’s imposing presence also bodes well for the national squad.
The 6-foot-11 Blatche joined the team in Miami last week and has blended well with the Gilas’ 16-man pool.
“Andray is enjoying himself. Okay makisama. He also bought pizza for the team a few days ago,” he said.
The Gilas team manager said despite the twice-a-week training that begins at 5:30 a.m. with individual workouts at the gym, every member of the Gilas pool is upbeat.
“It’s (training camp) been great. It’s a happy group,” said Castro. “We strive hard to keep the mood light and yet, get all the work done.”
After the Miami training, Gilas will play a series of tuneup matches in different parts of Europe before traveling to Spain for the Fiba World Cup set to start on August 30.