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    Fit-again Calvin Oftana wastes no time making presence felt for NLEX

    Jun 8, 2022
    Calvin Oftana in his first game back from a long injury layoff for NLEX.
    Calvin Oftana in his first game back from a long injury layoff for NLEX.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    CALVIN Oftana going for 20 points in his comeback game from a long injury layoff showed how badly NLEX missed him especially in the PBA Governors Cup semifinals last season against Barangay Ginebra.

    The former NCAA MVP was quick to make his presence felt in the Philippine Cup as he led a huge NLEX comeback from 16 points down that led to a 105-102 win over Terrafirma on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    [See NLEX rallies from 16-points down to deny Terrafirma]

    Last year’s No. 3 overall pick dropped 18 points in the final quarter, where the Road Warriors outscored the Dyip, 34-26, to complete the come-from-behind victory.

    Oftana went 5-of-13 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line while adding five rebounds and two assists, numbers which coach Yeng Guiao admitted could have helped the team’s cause last season had the former NCAA MVP not suffered a fractured hand and missed the entire playoffs.

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    “Ang laking bagay ni Calvin. On a good night, bente kayang-kaya ni Calvin. Yun ang na-miss namin against Ginebra in the semifinal series,” said Guiao.

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      “Isa pang maganda kay Calvin kaya niyang dumipensa rin. Kahit uno hanggang singko, kaya niyang depensahan, kayang dipensahan ni Calvin.”

      Video

      Oftana regrets not being able to help NLEX in its match-up against the Kings, which saw the league’s most popular ballclub win the best-of-five series in four games on the way to retaining the Governors’ Cup championship.

      [See Guiao on 'pinipitas na player' of Terrafirma]

      “Sa sarili ko talaga, I (know) I can help the team. May matutulong din ako sa maliit na bagay, depensa, rebounding, mga ganun,” the sophomore big man said.

      In his first game back since recovering from injury, Oftana struggled early on. But he credited Guiao for not losing trust in him and kept pushing him until eventually finding his rhythm late in the game.

      Continue reading below ↓

      “Kasi si coach Yeng ang maganda lang sa kanya nagbibigay talaga siya ng kumpiyansa sa player niya,” said the NLEX forward. “Tingnan nyo nangyari nung first half ko, sobrang baba na ng morale ko pero he kept putting me in the game.”

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      Calvin Oftana in his first game back from a long injury layoff for NLEX.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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