Ranidel de Ocampo can space the floor, break down his defender in the post and has a knack for hitting big shots.
De Ocampo was traded to Meralco on Monday and TNT will surely miss all of those and so much more.
“I’m still not used to it because he’s our captain, our vocal leader and that what makes him the anchor of the team,” said his former teammate Jayson Castro on Wednesday after the KaTropa edged NLEX, 112-107, in their first game without the veteran forward. “And you can’t really replace a Ranidel in your team.”
“Trade has been done and we have no choice but to move forward and embrace the change. No one person can replace RDO. It takes everybody pitching in,” echoed TNT head coach Nash Racela in a text message to INQUIRER.net on Tuesday.
Castro knows exactly what he’s talking about having shared six championships with de Ocampo. Both won a couple of Finals MVP awards during those title runs.
“It was sad when we found out that he got traded, but I guess there’s a reason why he was traded to Meralco,” said Castro, who was also teammates with de Ocampo with Gilas Pilipinas.
The 35-year-old de Ocampo visited TNT practice to bid farewell to the team, which he played for eight seasons.
Castro said de Ocampo told the team to just “accept” the change and “move on.”
“That’s basketball. And it’s something we have no control over,” the explosive guard said.
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