Photo from Charles Dy's Facebook page
RDO sustains the injury during the Bolts' practice as his comeback could be delayed furthermore
The last time the PBA has seen Ranidel de Ocampo shoot those three-pointers he was so known for, it was during the early moments of last year's Governors' Cup Finals against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings before he was taken out for good due to a calf injury. He then missed the entire 2017-2018 Philippine Cup as he was recovering from the said injury. Now? RDO might miss a big chunk of the mid-season Commissioner's Cup.
In what seems to be another big blow to the depleted frontline of Coach Norman Black, Ranidel de Ocampo sustained an Achilles tear which, according to the insiders from the Meralco Bolts, could mean that RDO could miss the first four weeks of the upcoming Commissioner's Cup. The bad news was later confirmed by none other than Coach Norman Black who said that his squad is ready to go except for the fact that RDO is still out. The good news for the Bolts though, RDO could make his comeback by the middle part of the elimination phase.
What RDO's latest injury means for the Bolts?
For the Meralco Bolts who finished the Philippine Cup as the second-worst team in the PBA after finishing with a 4-7 record, RDO's latest injury could mean bigger problems for the Bolts. This means that guys like Cliff Hodge, Jared Dillinger, Chris Newsome, and Baser Amer must split the scoring load that RDO used to carry among themselves to avoid relying heavily on their import, Arinze Onuaku, a Best Import of the Conference awardee with the Bolts years back.
Now, assuming that Meralco can regain the competitive edge it had in last year's Governors' Cup, they should be fine come the middle of the conference when RDO is expected to make his return because he won't need to score more. He will just need to lead the guys off the bench. As long as Jared Dillinger stops shooting bricks especially from the deep, the Bolts can make the playoffs, to say the least.
Fortunately, Grandpa Reynel Hugnatan is still around to shoot and score more threes as if he's Jimmy Alapag. And so is Chris Newsome- one of Norman Black's ace players even during their stint in the UAAP. With or without RDO, the Meralco Bolts are still very much a playoff-bound team. They just need to figure out how to win more games with the players that they will have come the Commissioner's Cup.