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Allen Durham says addition of RDO gives Meralco huge chance to win PBA title

Allen Durham says addition of RDO gives Meralco huge chance to win PBA title

The 6-5 De Ocampo became the latest addition to the Bolts after being acquired in a three-team trade that involved TNT and Phoenix.

And so far, the many-time Gilas forward, known by his initials RDO, has showed his value in the semifinals, providing leadership and three-point shooting to help Meralco complete a three-game sweep of Star.

“He’s (De Ocampo) a huge addition. You guys saw out there that when we kind of struggle a little bit, Ranidel would come and hit big shots,” Durham said, following the Bolts’ narrow 81-78 win to complete the sweep to advance to the Governors’ Cup Finals for the second straight year.

The hulking Durham said 35-year-old the De Ocampo remains an asset despite his age as the former St. Francis College standout provided mismatch to a Star side that missed the services of combo guard Paul Lee in the last 2 games.

In fact, the American import feels De Ocampo, coupled by the presence of a healthy Jared Dillinger and vastly improved guard Baser Amer, will give Meralco a stronger chance to win the title.

“That’s what he’s been doing for Talk ’N Text for years and now he can do it for us,” he said with a big smile. “He’s definitely gonna help us with a couple other guys too. Del is such an asset on offense and defense, that he’ll definitely give us a chance (to win the title).”

Veteran Fil-American wingman Jared Dillinger can’t help but agree with Durham, having won several PBA championship with De Ocampo during their stay with TNT.

“I’ve been playing with that guy for so long so as soon as he got here, we mesh well. You can see it in the game because he knows where I’m at,” said the left-handed Dillinger.

“It’s as if we picked up right from where we left off at TNT because everyone knows Ranidel and his accomplishments. (Definitely) he gives us a legitimate title shot this year.”

De Ocampo averaged 15.5 points in the last 2 games of the semis, while Meralco has gone 7-1 since the veteran stretch four was acquired.

For sure, De Ocampo, a six-time PBA champion, could lend his vast championship experience to the Bolts when the Finals start next week against the winner of the TNT-Ginebra semifinal series.