February 28, 2024

Why 'dirty' Ranidel de Ocampo was tailor-made for Gilas, according to 10-time PBA All-Star

Why
FIBA

Gilas Pilipinas won't be seeing action until July for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. This means that the fans' love-hate relationship with the national team won't be on full display in the coming months.

But that doesn't mean that we can't talk about them. After all, Gilas Pilipinas is among the favorite topics of Filipinos, along with how their neighbor was able to afford a brand new car, KathNiel (break na daw?), and foreign vloggers who complain about the Philippines.

Recently, former PBA star Sol Mercado and current PBA stars LA Tenorio, Gabe Norwood, and Jared Dillinger had a discussion about Gilas Pilipinas, particularly on what the national squad needs to be more successful.

Mercado noted that Gilas Pilipinas lacks an identity, to which Tenorio offered a suggestion.

"I think I would get a piece from the European style of basketball, but we have to concentrate on our outside shooting. We have to develop it. I'm not saying we become like (South) Korea, who just shoot and shoot. At least, develop a foundation, because we don't have the height to post up," said Tenorio in the latest episode of ClutchPoints Philippines' Let it Fly podcast.

The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel veteran also noted that the national team needs a power forward who can stretch the floor. Almost instantly, Dillinger, who's also with Ginebra, brought up Gilas Pilipinas legend Ranidel de OcampoOf course, Tenorio agreed, while also pointing out an attribute of RDO. It's considered an attribute, right?  

"Ranidel is perfect for the national team. That's why he was always there. Because number one, he was dirty," said Tinyente, eliciting laughter from everyone. "He's tough, but he's dirty. He would fight. I think (having) that (kind of player) will separate us."

Tenorio would know. He and the goofy Cavite native were Gilas Pilipinas teammates for many years.

ALSO READ: Keeping it real: Why LA Tenorio thinks Calvin Abueva is most overrated PBA player

Stories of RDO's toughness in international tournaments are epic. Just ask that forgotten player from Kuwait who will never forget making the mistake of hitting de Ocampo on his huevos. We don't even have to show a video. You know that exact incident.

Mercado also made a clarification about the retired forward, who now serves as an assistant coach of the TNT Tropang Giga.

"The thing about Ranidel, when you say 'dirty,' what you really try to say is he doesn't mind getting physical, no matter the size (of the opponent). He won't back down, and he's smart as sh*t," noted Mercado.

Tenorio, Norwood, Dillinger, and Mercado all played with RDO in their conquest of the Jones Cup in 2012.

De Ocampo is not called—lovingly, we may add—the Pambansang Siko for nothing.