Still a lot to learn for Oftana, says Guiao
Back in the summer, Yeng Guiao heaped praises on Calvin Oftana, NLEX’s 6-foot-5 third overall pick during the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft.
“I’m confident of him. And not just a little,” the Road Warriors coach told the Inquirer. “I feel like he has so much to contribute even in his first year.”
However, it took the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s last Most Valuable Player four games before he was able to settle in.
Oftana scored just a single point in his pro debut. He scored two points in his second game, and then seven in the next. He was able to get out of a scoring rut during the match against Terrafirma, turning 16 points built on a 6-for-9 shooting to go with seven boards.
“One thing that I think he needs to improve on is reading the game—making good decisions. And that doesn’t come immediately,” the decorated mentor said.
Oftana has been averaging 6.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and an assist while playing 13.7 minutes per game. While not as eye-popping as Filipino-American newcomers Joshua Munzon and Jaime Malonzo’s, his numbers are good enough to put him within the top five of most statistical races among rookies.
“[Calvin] needs to understand how the game flows here in the PBA,” said Guiao. “We know how dominant he was in college. But it’s a whole new story, whole new ball game in the PBA.”