Monday, August 17, 2015
Injured Ranidel De Ocampo, Terrence Romeo join Gilas Pilipinas in Estonia
Philippine national men’s basketball team mainstay Ranidel de Ocampo, whose hamstring injury has kept him from practicing with Gilas Pilipinas, will still be joining the squad’s trip to Europe after all.
Head coach Tab Baldwin disclosed this latest development to InterAksyon.com in a telephone interview after the team just wrapped up its last practice on Monday morning prior to leaving the country Monday night.
“He’ll be joining us in Estonia, but I don’t think he’ll be playing any games because he’ll continue doing the therapy there with (team trainer) Dexter Aseron,” Baldwin said.
Since the start of the training sessions for the FIBA Asia Championship, De Ocampo has yet to join any practices, but he’s been visible on the sidelines, studying the system of Baldwin.
A few days ago, the team had apprehensions of having the 6-foot-7 deadshot forward on board to Estonia because of his injury, but he got clearance from his doctor to be part of the European camp.
Also joining the trip is Terrence Romeo, who just returned to practice after being sidelined by a virus that hospitalized him for a few days.
Romeo, one of the newcomers in the Gilas program, has missed three sessions because of severe flu and according to Baldwin, the star guard of GlobalPort has lost a lot of body fluids.
“But he returned to practice today (Monday), of course, not the same Terrence that I expect him to be because he’s still recovering from that bout with flu,” added Baldwin. “But I like his character. He’s tough and he’s a likeable player. Great attitude.”
The members of the Gilas Pilipinas team will leave Monday night via Turkish Airlines and will have a short training session in Estonia capped by a three-day, four-nation pocket tournament against national teams from Iceland, the Netherlands and the host Estonia this week.
“We will have two groups split up. One group will leave at 7:45 p.m. tonight while another group will leave at 9 p.m.,” said Baldwin. “There were gradual progress in training prior to us leaving for Estonia and I expect that gradual progress once we start our training there. You cannot build a team overnight but I expect our team to improve day by day.”