B-MEG center Yancy De Ocampo seemed surprised when told that his coach, Tim Cone, called him an “unsung hero” following the Llamados’ 82-66 victory in Game Five of the Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Cone made the comments shortly after the win, which gave B-MEG a 3-2 lead in the series.
“Well, wala naman akong ginagawang special,” said De Ocampo. “Siguro, binibigyan niya lang ako ng tiwala, kaya sinusuklian ko na lang yun.”
The veteran slotman has been a pleasant revelation for the Llamados this tournament, providing tough defense on imports while remaining a threat with his deft shooting touch. He has become a valuable contributor for the Llamados, even though not much was expected of him when he arrived in a trade involving young forward Rico Maierhofer.
The trade to bring in De Ocampo “was really about finding the right place for Rico to grow,” Cone told InterAKTV shortly after the deal was announced last November.
But while Maierhofer has languished in sick bay with his new team, De Ocampo has become a solid rotation player for the Llamados. He scored eight points in Game Five, third-most on the team, before fouling out late in the third quarter.
“If Yancy could stay away from making silly fouls, he would have been unstoppable as nobody could match up with him whenever he’s playing alongside Denzel,” said Cone after the game.
Funnily enough, with the media spotlight on him, De Ocampo chose to complain about the refereeing.
“Medyo malambot kasi yung mga tawag, eh physical yung laro,” he told InterAKTV on Thursday.
But his coach would have none of it.
“Those fouls, those weren’t on the referees, those were all on him,” said Cone. “That’s what I was telling him, to avoid those silly fouls, because he’s got such great physical gifts that Talk ‘N Text will have a hard time against him.”
Curiously, while De Ocampo has thrived, his younger brother Ranidel has struggled for most of the series. Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes called Ranidel out in the media after Game Three, saying the versatile forward was on “a vacation” after going scoreless.
Ranidel once again played below par in Game Five, scoring just three points.
Curiously, Yancy also seemed surprised by all the attention about Ranidel’s poor play.
“Pag nagkikita kasi kami, hindi na kami nag-uusap tungkol sa basketball,” he said.
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