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Oftana restarts Gilas journey

Calvin Oftana is happy to rejoin Gilas Pilipinas, which is now playing in China for a series of tune up games. (Photo from FIBA)

After suffering an injury in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games, Calvin Oftana is thrilled to restart his journey with the Gilas Pilipinas team that is preparing for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Oftana said he considers himself as an underdog as there are a lot of taller, stronger and more talented players than him vying for slots in the team that will compete in the World Cup from 25 August to 10 September.

But being part of the pool is already a major achievement.

“I am excited. They said that there’s a million of basketball athletes who want to be with Gilas, but we were the ones chosen and we are in the pool and we’re fighting for spots,” said the 6-foot-5 former National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player.

“Hopefully, I make it, but if not, then that’s alright. I’m happy to be here and help the rest of the team to prepare them for the coming World Cup.”

“On my part, this is the restart of my journey. We’ll prepare and we’ll be mentally focused for the coming World Cup. We need this tournament to see where we are.”

Oftana said making the World Cup will be a dream come true.

“That would be a big blessing if ever I make it,” he said.

“I know God has given me a talent. But I thank him as well for keeping me safe. Whatever happened to me in the SEA Games, maybe he has a bigger purpose for me.”

“Maybe, I was not in good shape or maybe fatigue caught up with me since I was coming off a championship series in the PBA, then went back to practice right away.”

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