OTHER than proudly representing the country, Calvin Oftana’s stint with the national men’s basketball team led to a friendship with Scottie Thompson.
Oftana said he became close to the Barangay Ginebra guard when they played together as part of Gilas Pilipinas during the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers last year.
The two former NCAA MVPs would hook up from time to time from then on.
“Nagsimula yan nung nagkasama kami sa Gilas. Roommates kami,” said Oftana.
A lot were actually taken aback when Oftana and Thompson swapped jerseys in the din of TNT’s celebration moments after dethroning Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors' Cup Finals.
Thompson gave Oftana his red and white No. 9 Ginebra jersey, while receiving in return Oftana’s black and gold No. 8 TNT uniform.
The two later gave each other a warm embrace as the reigning league MVP congratulated the forward out of San Beda for winning his first-ever PBA championship.
“Hindi alam ng lahat, pero best friend ang turing ko sa kanya,” said the 27-year-old Oftana. “Parang kapatid na ang turing ko kay Scottie.
“Nag-uusap kami sa Instagram, sa laro,” added the TNT stalwart. “Nagko-congratulate kami kung nanalo, kung talo, bawi na lang. Kaya tinuring kong kapatid yang si Scottie.”
The friendship is bound to blossom if they both make the final Gilas lineup for the FIBA World Cup Championship.