Ranidel de Ocampo is back with the TNT KaTropa.
The 38-year old de Ocampo, who retired last April after a sterling 15-year PBA career – the last 2 with the Meralco Bolts, will fill the spot vacated by Tab Baldwin after the 62-year old American/New Zealander was relieved of his duties in the team in order to focus on his concurrent roles as Gilas Pilipinas program director and Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles head coach.
“Coach Ranidel brings us a wealth of championship experience and basketball knowledge that will definitely help our team reach our aspirations for another championship,” said KaTropa team manager Gabby Cui in a statement.
Cui stressed that the arrival of de Ocampo had nothing to do with the sudden departure of Baldwin.
“We were talking na (with RDO) even before coach Tab left,” explained the former PBA player.
De Ocampo, the 4th overall pick of the 2004 draft, spent 9 seasons (2008-2017) with the flagship team of the MVP group and won a total of 6 championships. The native of Tanza, Cavite won two Finals MVP awards and was named as Best Player of the 2014 Governors’ Cup.
He played a significant role during the national team’s runner-up finish in the 2013 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship which paved the way for the country’s participation in the FIBA World Cup after a 36-year absence.