PBA Philippine Cup

Calvin Oftana shines as TNT ends NLEX’s four-game win streak in Candon thriller 

Martin Mendoza

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Calvin Oftana shines as TNT ends NLEX’s four-game win streak in Candon thriller 

TAKE OVER. TNT's Calvin Oftana lays it in against NLEX in PBA action.


Calvin Oftana drops 15 of his career-high-tying 37 points in the fourth quarter as the TNT Tropang Giga complete a come-from-behind win against the NLEX Road Warriors

MANILA, Philippines – Calvin Oftana delivered when it mattered the most for the TNT Tropang Giga as they sent the NLEX Road Warriors crashing back to earth with a thrilling 104-101 escape in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Candon City Arena in Ilocos Sur on Saturday, April 13. 

With TNT trailing by 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter, 76-87, Oftana took over and dropped 15 of his career-high-tying 37 points in the final 12 minutes to help the Tropang Giga complete the come-from-behind triumph and stop NLEX’s four-game winning streak.

The Gilas Pilipinas forward and reigning Three-Point Shootout champion also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and dished out a team-best 6 assists in a sixth-man role for TNT, which notched its second straight win for a 4-3 slate. 

Roger Pogoy helped Oftana carry TNT’s scoring load with 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while Jayson Castro and Glenn Khobuntin poured in 16 and 11, respectively. 

With TNT staring at a 100-101 deficit after a tough layup by NLEX star Robert Bolick at the 3:25 mark of the final frame, it was Pogoy who sank the go-ahead triple that gave the Tropang Giga an all-important 103-101 edge with 2:50 to play.

Both teams couldn’t buy a basket late in the ball game and with TNT still hanging on to a slim 103-101 lead with only 14 seconds left, Khobuntin had a chance to seal the deal on the foul line, but the Tropang Giga forward only managed to sink one of his two free throws.

The Road Warriors then had a golden opportunity to send the game into overtime in the final possession, but Bolick’s three-point attempt clanked off the rim as time expired.

TNT spoiled the huge scoring night of NLEX forward Robbie Herndon, who exploded for 25 points on an efficient 9-of-14 shooting, including a 5-of-10 clip from long distance.

Bolick posted 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists, while big man Michael Miranda added 17 markers on a near-perfect 7-of-8 shooting.

Despite the loss, NLEX remained at the No. 2 spot with a 5-2 record.

The Scores

TNT 104 – Oftana 37, Pogoy 21, Castro 16, Khobuntin 11, Galinato 7, B.Ganuelas-Rosser 5, K.Williams 4, Montalbo 3, Ponferrada 0, Reyes 0, Aurin 0.

NLEX 101 – Herndon 25, Bolick 23, Miranda 17, Fajardo 14, Semerad 6, Valdez 6, Nieto 4, Marcelo 3, Amer 2, Nermal 1, Rodger 0, Anthony 0, Pascual 0.

Quarters: 29-27, 49-57, 76-87, 104-101.

– Rappler.com

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