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De Ocampo shows up

Talk ’N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo made his first public appearance last Thursday during the Tropang Texters’ game against the Barako Bull Energy, more than a month after sustaining a scary herniated disc while preparing for the season.

The 6-foot-5 veteran sat from behind the TNT bench in a 98-105 overtime defeat against Barako Bull in the ongoing Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup.

De Ocampo, who injured his back last Oct. 26 while lifting weights said his priority is to get a clean bill of health.

“Nami-miss ko na mag-laro, maka-sama yung mga teammates ko, mga coaches. Pero kailangan pa magpa-lakas,” said de Ocampo.

De Ocampo was seen walking cautiously which according to the many-time Gilas Pilipinas team member said is part of his therapy.

De Ocampo was allowed by team doctors to drop by the Texters’ game and show his support to his squad where he was particularly impressed with rookies Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario. “Magandang experience for them, malaking bagay na nabibigyan sila ng chance to showcase their game,” said De Ocampo.

De Ocampo meanwhile plans to visit the Gilas Pilipinas training this Monday at the Meralco gym.

Before the injury, De Ocampo was one of the 17 players named by the PBA to join the training pool where coach Tab Baldwin will pick members of Gilas 4.0 that will see action in next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.