Although deep inside he’s trying to ignore the late-game blunder, the sophomore big man admitted it somehow keeps coming back into his mind.
“Ayaw kong mag-lie sa sarili ko, pero yun talaga yun,” said Oftana as he appeared on SPIN Zoom In on Friday.
“Sabi ko nga sa sarili ko, ‘move on, move on na,’ kasi kapag palagi mong babalikan yun, mai-stuck ka na dun.”
The incident indeed, was a frustrating one for the 25-year-old former NCAA MVP from San Beda.
Oftana was sent to the line with a minute left in regulation and the Road Warriors holding a 94-96 lead over Magnolia in their do-or-die encounter for a place in the best-of-seven semis.
But he missed the front end of the two free throws, before converting the second for a three-point NLEX lead.
Paul Lee though, went on and converted a three from deep right corner with 12 seconds to go that sent the game into overtime, which the Hotshots controlled and won, 112-106.
Calvin Oftana and the Road Warriors pushed the Hotshots to a decider before bowing out.
The missed foul shot was something that stayed on for Oftana until now.
“Kasi malaking factor na nag-miss ako ng free throw. Yun ang nasa isip ko after that game,” said the rising NLEX star who is currently on vacation at Dumaguete.
“If I made the two free throws kasi isa lang ang na-shoot ko, siguro mag-iiba rin yung laro kasi magiging apat yung lead namin,” added Oftana. “Na-shoot man ni Kuya Paul yung 3 niya sa corner, merong tsansa pa rin na kami ang makapasok (sa semis).”
But those mistakes, according to Oftana, are learning experience for him.
“Part of the game din yun. You can’t blame yourself din kasi ginagawa ko rin naman kung ano yung kaya ko (for the team),” he said.
Oftana and the rest of the Road Warriors return to court for practice on Aug. 15 ahead of the Commissioner’s Cup.
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