MANILA, Philippines – TNT veteran Ranidel De Ocampo lauded his teammates for stepping up in their come-from-behind win over the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in their 2016-17 PBA All-Filipino Cup game on Sunday.
After going down by 12 points, 81-93, early in the fourth frame, the KaTropa proceeded to give the Gin Kings a taste of their own medicine as they showed their own "never say die" spirit.
De Ocampo sparked an 11-0 run that made it a one-point game, hit huge shots in the final two minutes to tie the contest, then assisted on the go-ahead lay-up by Kelly Williams that made it 104-103 with 1:25 to go.
He finished with 22 points, 15 of which came in the fourth, while adding seven rebounds and four assists. Yet De Ocampo pointed out afterward that it was a team effort, as six of his teammates also scored in double-digits.
"Isa din 'yun sa pagkakaiba sa last game," De Ocampo said, referring to their 87-101 loss to Rain or Shine in their conference opener. "Last game, hindi naman ganoon 'yung scoring namin."
Against the Elasto Painters, only De Ocampo (24 points) and Troy Rosario (16 point) finished in double figures as the KaTropa shot only 37% from the field.
For De Ocampo, their balanced scoring against Ginebra was proof that they had learned from their mistakes the last time out.
"Second game na namin," he pointed out. "Nakikita na namin 'yung mali namin from the last game."
"Ngayon naman, binibigyan ko ng credit 'yung teammates ko," De Ocampo added. "Nag-sipag sila, nandoon 'yung effort, at hindi sumusuko kahit malaki 'yung lamang."
Nevertheless, it was De Ocampo who drew the biggest praise from assistant coach Josh Reyes.
"Without Jayson (Castro) and even when Jayson is there, Ranidel is still our leader," said Reyes, who is coaching the KaTropa for now.
"I just went to him, called a lot of plays for him, and he delivered," he added. "That's what he's been doing his whole career. I'm glad he delivered today. He's just somebody that we trust in those kinds of situations."
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