RANIDEL De Ocampo has decided to hang up his playing jerseys for good.
The 38-year-old forward officially announced his retirement through his Twitter account @jutaca33 late Monday evening, hours after laying bare the possibility during the 2OT podcast hosted by TV personalities Carlo Pamintuan and Magoo Marjon, where he and fellow PBA veteran Marc Pingris served as guests.
“At first, I only saw Basketball as a sport that I like to watch. It has never crossed my mind that it will become one of the biggest parts of my life. I started playing serious basketball at the age of the 14. At 38, with the guidance of the Lord and my family, I am now announcing my retirement as a Professional Baskeyball Player,” De Ocampo’s post read.
“Because of basketball I successfully fulfilled my dreams and gained so much lessons and values. I was able to represent and fight for our country and entertain basketball fanatics,” added De Ocampo.
“I can now spend more time with my family. I thank the Lord for giving me a great and fruitful career. Tp all my coaches, teammates, friends and fans thank you for being part of my basketball journey.
“RDO33 now signing off.”
The Meralco Bolt expressed as much during the podcast.
“Paalam na sa basketball,” said De Ocampo. “Talagang naging buhay ko na ang basketball simula nu’ng 14 years old old ako. Papasalamat ako kay Lord na binigyan niya ako ng career.
“Siguro time na para matapos ‘yung pagiging player. Siguro ibang landas naman ‘yung tatahakin natin,” added De Ocampo.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat. God bless.”
The Tanza, Cavite native played 15 seasons in the PBA before being hobbled by injuries in the last couple of years. Shosrtly after arriving in Meralco from TNT in late 2017 De Ocampo suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the Governors Cup finals against Ginebra.
He was then plagued by back issues last year. He sustained a torn calf muscle before that, which kept him out of the 2018 Philippine Cup, and then suffered a mild Achilles tear the following conference.
Still, De Ocampo will be leaving the game with a resumé that should leave other players green with envy.
The fourth pick of the 2004 PBA Draft, the St. Francis of Assisi College product first showed his wares with Air21 Express. He was then traded to Talk N Text in the middle of the 2008-09 Philippine Cup.
De Ocampo immediately delivered, helping the Tropang Texters win the title of that conference. He soon became a key contributor in the franchise’s reign of dominance from 2009-13.
The 6-foot-6 forward won a total of six championships, including two Finals Most Valuable Player awards.
De Ocampo also has a 2014 Governors’ Cup Best Player of the Conference hardware in his rich collection. Moreover, the nine-time All-Star made it to the Mythical First Team thrice.
Per the league’s chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, De Ocampo — who will be retiring as a Meralco Bolt — has PBA career totals of 7,746 points, 3,844 rebounds, and 1,273 assists.
De Ocampo was part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that finished with a silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila.
It was a historic accomplishment, enabling the Philippines to return to the FIBA World Cup after 40 years. De Ocampo went on to play in the prestigious tilt in Spain in 2014.
De Ocampo won two FIBA Asia silver medals. He also won a Southeast Asian Games gold medal in 2003, as he was part of the amateur-laden squad coached by the late Aric Del Rosario.