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Oftana: Playing with Clarkson ‘a dream come true’

TNT’s Calvin Oftana’s experience with Jordan Clarkson at Gilas basketball is a madeleine of happy memory.

It’s not like he has been to the moon, but the promising sophomore considers hustling alongside NBA’s former Sixth Man of The Year awardee a dream come true.

The 6-foot-5 PBA rising star was able to team up with the Fil-Am guard during one of the windows of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Yes, it was like dream come true. This is truly an achievement for me. Not everybody is given a chance to play for Gilas, more so to team up with Jordan Clarkson. Sixth Man of The Year awardee, NBA star player of the Utah Jazz. It was a dream come true and a big achievement in my career,” Oftana told The Daily Tribune during his interview with NSS All Work and Play.

If ever Oftana cracks the Gilas team in the World Cup, the versatile cager will not only get the opportunity of playing alongside Clarkson, but will cherish the moment of playing in the biggest basketball event on earth.

Playing only in his sixth conference in the PBA, Oftana had stints with some of the best game tacticians.

Prior to his entry in Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league, Oftana had a brief stint playing for Tab Baldwin’s Gilas team in one of the windows of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers two years ago.

He also played for multi-titled collegiate coach Boyet Fernandez at San Beda where he also won the Most Valuable Player award while competing in the NCAA a few years back.

In the PBA, he was utilized to the fullest by Yeng Guiao, his coach at NLEX, where he became a part of the team’s playoff runs.

Oftana is now looking forward to joining another multi-titled coach – Chot Reyes – his coach at TNT and Gilas.

“Maybe, I was just lucky. These are great coaches. When I started playing in Dumaguete, I played for a good coach, then when I went to San Beda I also played under a good coach , then with Gilas and PBA. I’m so lucky to play under these coaches,” said Oftana.

Getting traded to TNT can be considered as an added chapter to his PBA journey and Oftana can only be excited at this time.

“I can’t wait to play my first game with TNT. I’m a little bit pressured because I’m joining a championship-caliber team. I’m also pressed to perform well. I won’t be traded there if I won’t be able to make contributions in the team. I’m sure they have plans for me. I have to play my role and do whatever the coaches tell me to do,” added Oftana.

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