Ranidel de Ocampo
RDO's most memorable PBA game
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It was Christmas Day in 2008 during a PBA Philippine Cup game between TNT and Air21. Ranidel de Ocampo was just traded by Air21 to TNT and he faced his previous team. With time running out, De Ocampo sank a 17-foot buzzer-beating jumper to lift TNT to a 109-108 win over Air21, clinching a spot in the semifinals for coach Chot Reyes’ squad.

Looking back on his 15-year pro career, RDO said it was his most memorable PBA game. Jimmy Alapag led TNT in scoring with 23 points but RDO made his presence felt with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Harvey Carey added 17 and Mac Cardona chipped in 16. With RDO’s announcement of his retirement from active playing the other day and the lockdown still in force, he found time to reflect on his basketball journey. RDO said he started playing serious hoops at 14 and experienced an odyssey where “I successfully fulfilled my dreams and gained so many lessons and values.” Now at 38, he has decided to hang up his sneakers.

RDO’s contract with Meralco expired last season. Meralco PBA governor and SBP president Al Panlilio said “RDO was one of the key cogs in delivering championships for TNT in the PBA and in helping us get back to the world stage when we made it to the FIBA World Cup 2014 in Seville after a 36-year absence…RDO’s leadership, work ethic and professionalism are attributes that I will remember him for, and his humor and wittiness, too…we would like to thank him for his dedication and loyalty to the MVP Group (TNT and Meralco) and likewise, to the national team…our deepest gratitude to RDO and wishing him only the best for his future post-retirement.”

RDO said his most memorable game with Gilas was when the Philippines beat South Korea, 86-79, in the FIBA Asia Cup semifinals at the MOA Arena on Oct. 8, 2013. He had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in 23:47 minutes off the bench. His most memorable championship was his first of six in the PBA with TNT in the 2009 Philippine Cup. As for his toughest opponents, RDO named Danny Seigle in the PBA and Fadi El Khatib of Lebanon in FIBA competitions. “Nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord dahil sa maganda na career, sa pamilya ko na palagi nakasuporta, sa mga naging coach, teammate at kaibigan ko,” he said. “Special thanks to my agent Charlie Dy.”

RDO described his wife Diane as “masayahin” and “laking Zapote, Las Piñas” where they live. “Panganay si Madelaine, 17, Grade 11 sa La Salle Taft, nagpupursigi na maging varsity pagdating sa college,” he said. “Pangalawa si Stephanie, 14, Grade 8 varsity din ng volleyball sa Divine Light Academy Las Piñas with honors. Pangatlo si Ranidel Jr., 12, Grade 6 varsity ng basketball sa Divine Light Academy with honors. Bunso si Franceska Dianna, 7, Grade 2 at siya naman ang laruan namin sa bahay, masayahin na bata at malambing.” As for his future plans, RDO said, “kung mayroon mag-invite sa akin na sumali sa coaching staff ay pwede naman…o kaya magturo sa mga bata, kung anuman ang dumating sa larangan man ng basketball o hindi.”

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