Gilas Pilipinas rules out Calvin Oftana vs Cambodia due to calf strain | Inquirer Sports

Gilas Pilipinas rules out Calvin Oftana vs Cambodia due to calf strain

/ 09:20 PM May 10, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas in the SEA Games 2023.

Gilas Pilipinas in the SEA Games 2023. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Ariya Kurniawan | Instagram @ariyakurniawan16

MANILA Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas will be a weapon short when it battles Cambodia in the  32nd Southeast Asian Games basketball competition on Thursday.

National coach Chot Reyes said that versatile forward Calvin Oftana is down with a calf strain and won’t be available in the highly-anticipated duel with the host at Morodok Techo National Stadium.

“It will be a tough challenge for sure [as] Cambodia is big, athletic and deep. And not having Calvin won’t help [us],” he told the Inquirer in a short message on Wednesday night.

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Cambodia has put the field on notice after beating Singapore black and blue in its tournament debut on Wednesday. The hosts pocketed an 85-60 thanks to the prolific play of their naturalized players who were different from those who won the 3×3 gold medal.

In an earlier interview, Reyes said that Cambodia has a total of six naturalized players, and that should be a big threat for the Filipinos, who are hoping to reclaim their lofty perch in the tournament after losing the gold to Indonesia in the last SEA Games.

Oftana slipped during the Gilas Pilipinas’ opening game against Malaysia on Tuesday due to a slippery portion of the venue’s makeshift flooring. He had to be plucked out of the game with 2:40 left in the second period.

The silver lining is that Oftana’s MRI showed no tears in his calf and is able to walk, according to Reyes.

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“Functionally, he has difficulty with horizontal and vertical … activities and doing a single leg heel raise. But [he] is able to walk,” he added.

Oftana’s “return-to-play” period is pegged at two weeks at the most, which could rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.

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The Philippines battles Cambodia at 6 p.m. (Manila time). A victory will give Gilas a 2-0 record in the opening round play and will bolster its chances of finishing on top of Group A.

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TAGS: Calvin Oftana, Cambodia SEA Games, Gilas Pilipinas

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