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    Despite endgame miscues, Oftana proud of NLEX’s playoff run against Magnolia

    Aug 1, 2022
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    Calvin Oftana feels NLEX did well in the Philippine Cup despite the early playoff exit
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    CALVIN Oftana rued the missed free throw and turnover he committed late in regulation that cost NLEX in the do-or-die game against Magnolia in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Sunday night.

    “Learning lesson for me,” admitted the sophomore wingman outside the Road Warriors’ dugout following the 112-106 overtime loss against the Hotshots at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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    “Yung last play sa akin yun. And then I missed one free throw, dapat apat sana yun (lamang). Kahit na-shoot ni Kuya Paul (Lee) yung last shot niya, lamang pa sana kami ng isa.”

    Oftana was referring to his split from the foul line with a minute left in regulation that gave NLEX a 97-94 lead.

    Lee hit a corner three at the other end to tie the game and send it into overtime.

    Calvin OftanaCalvin Oftana and the Road Warriors gear up for the Commissioner's Cup.

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    The Road Warriors actually had one more shot at winning the game outright, but Jio Jalalon tapped the ball away from Oftana with 2.7 seconds to go.

    The former NCAA MVP out of San Beda finished with 32 points on 10-of-21 shooting, and added nine rebounds and three assists.

    It was the most scored by a local in a deciding game of a playoff series since Game Seven of the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup Finals behind the 38 of Paul Lee – then playing for Rain or Shine – and the 34 of TNT’s Ranidel De Ocampo.

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      Oftana could have scored more - he has a career-high of 34 - but unfortunately, was held scoreless in the overtime period.

      “Fatigue na rin. Napi-feel ko na rin sa sarili ko, pero hindi yun rason sa mga ganung bagay,” he said.

      As the Road Warriors’ campaign came to an end, Oftana nonetheless felt the team overachieved this conference.

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      “It’s a good run, nasa No. 6 kami, pero hindi kami natalo ng dalawang beses,” he said. “Learning lesson ito para sa amin kasi ang goal is to go into the semis, pero kinapos kami.”

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      Calvin Oftana feels NLEX did well in the Philippine Cup despite the early playoff exit
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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