Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
    View Today
    Mon, Oct 2

    Calvin Oftana expects to be a marked man in PBA playoffs debut

    That's what a 34-point breakout game can do to you
    Sep 27, 2021
    Calvin Oftana NLEX vs TNT
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    CALVIN Oftana knows he will be a marked man when he makes his PBA playoffs debut.

    It’s something he’s expecting especially with NLEX up against a Meralco side that he torched from three-point range on the way to registering a career-best in his young pro career.

    “Siguro mas magiging mahigpit sila sa depensa nila, hindi tulad nung huli na may mga tira din naman akong libre,” said the soft-spoken rookie as the Road Warriors get ready for their Philippine Cup quarterfinal against Meralco on Wednesday.

    “First playoffs ko, kaya kailangan maging handa.”


    The No. 3 overall pick in the last PBA draft was in a zone the last time he played against the Bolts in NLEX’s final outing in the eliminations.

    Oftana scored a PBA career-high 34 points and hit a eight three-pointers which now stands as the new league record for most three-point shots by a rookie.

    Too bad, the numbers went down the drain in the Road Warriors’ 104-101 loss that relegated them to No. 7 overall heading to the playoffs, where they need to beat the second-seeded Bolts twice to advance to the semifinals.


    Calvin Oftana

    If there’s any consolation, the performance had Oftana living up to the hype especially coming off a distinguished college career that saw him win three NCAA championships with San Beda and an MVP award to boot.

    The 6-foot-5 forward disclosed he was not aware he already scored above 30 during the game as his focus was more on giving NLEX the win for a higher seeding in the first round of the playoffs.

    Watch Now

    “Wala talaga ako kaalam-alam nung time na yun. Ang mindset ko lang naman kasi nun ay maglaro and tulungan yung team na manalo,” he said of his record-breaking feat.

    “Na-shock na lang ako after the game.”

    Advice from Guiao

    His total output of 34 is the second highest for a rookie in the PBA this season following the 36 of fellow rookie Mikey Williams of TnT Tropang Giga.

    Oftana said it was also the highest of his career.

    “Hindi ko rin akala na umabot na pala ako ng 30 (points) which is first time sa career ko sa Manila,” said the NLEX freshman.

    His breakout performance couldn’t have come at the better time especially since he admitted struggling with his shots early in NLEX’s campaign.

    “The past few games kasi hindi ako nakakabutas sa three-points, so sabi ni coach Yeng (Guiao) kailangan buo ang loob ko kapag titira ako,” said Oftana.


    “Yung time na yun lang talaga ako nakabutas kaya nag tuluy-tuloy lang talaga.”

    Oftana’s new three-point record for a rookie eclipsed the previous mark of seven which Allan Caidic made in 1987 (Open Conference) for Great Taste and later equaled by Troy Rosario for TnT in 2016 (Commissioner’s Cup) and CJ Perez for Columbian Dyip in 2019 (Commissioner’s Cup) as pointed out by PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.

    Likewise, he became only the sixth active player to score 34 points or more in his rookie year, joining an elite group that included Perez and Terrence Romeo of San Miguel, Williams and Kelly Williams of TnT, and Matthew Wright of Phoenix.


      Oftana has drawn comparisons with Caidic, this early likened to one of the best ever marksmen in PBA history. The NLEX forward said his knowledge of the 'Triggerman' was limited to the clips he sees online.

      “Nakita ko yung mga highlights niya sa Youtube,” said Oftana.


      At the same time, he doesn’t see himself playing the same way as Caidic, pointing out for one that he’s a right-hander and Caidic is a lefty.

      One former NCAA rival and fellow Gilas stalwart does remind him of the great Filipino shooter, though.

      “Si Allein Bulanadi (sa NCAA) kasi pareho silang kaliwete,” said Oftana.

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

      Read Next
      Watch Now
      Sorry, no results found for
      PHOTO: PBA Images
    • POLL

      • Quiz

        Quiz Result