De Ocampo lauds import as TNT marches on
MANILA, Philippines – The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters continue their march in the PBA Commissioners Cup, summarily dismissing crowd favorites Ginebra in the quarter-finals to win their 10th straight game and win a place in the Final Four.
Veteran forward Ranidel De Ocampo praised young import Richard Howell for the role that he played in the 97-84 victory, saying the 23-year-old was a tireless worker.
“Masipag siya at nagha-hustle,” De Ocampo said in an interview with PBA.ph. “Tanggap niya ‘yung role niya, at ginagawa niya yung kailangan niyang gawin sa court.”
TNT head coach Norman Black also praised Howell, who sat out the final two games of the elimination round due to injury, but scored 41 points and grabbed 22 rebounds against Ginebra.
“Howell is a pretty good player. He’s a pretty good player in the States, and he’s a pretty good player here,” said Black. “He’s a really strong kid at 23.”
The Texters are the first team to qualify to the semi-finals, and De Ocampo said he is proud to see how the team’s hard work pay off.
“Masarap kasi nasa semis na kami. ‘Yung mga ganitong pagkakataon kasi, masarap sa pakiramdam. ‘Yung mga pinaghirapan namin, nagbubunga na,” he explained.
“Nasa gitna na kami noong kung saan naming gustong pumunta, kaya konting tiyaga na lang. Alam naman namin na kailangan pa naming paghirapan ‘yun,” he added.
Talk 'N Text will face the winner of the Rain or Shine-Meralco quarter-finals series in the semi-finals.