RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME. Calvin Oftana bails out TNT with a clutch putback.
Despite missing top gunners Roger Pogoy and Mikey Williams, TNT breaks its tie with San Miguel and hikes its record to 8-1 for the solo lead in the standings
MANILA, Philippines – Calvin Oftana saved the day for TNT and scored the game-winning putback in a nail-biting 105-103 escape against San Miguel in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, February 19.
Oftana grabbed an offensive rebound off a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson miss and beat the buzzer with a short stab as the Tropang Giga broke their tie with the Beermen and hiked their record to 8-1 for the solo lead in the standings.
Continuing his stellar play off the bench, Oftana finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with 6 assists.
TNT pulled through despite the absence of Roger Pogoy, who suffered a left ankle sprain last game, and the abrupt exit of Mikey Williams, who sat out the entire second half after hurting his right ankle in the second quarter.
Without two of their top gunners, the Tropang Giga relied on a vintage performance from Jayson Castro as the 36-year-old guard chalked up team-highs of 21 points and 8 assists on top of 5 rebounds.
Castro proved clutch as he drained a booming triple with 42 ticks left that gave TNT a 103-100 lead before Cameron Clark knotted the score for San Miguel at 103-103 with an and-one 30 seconds later.
Those two plays set up the frantic finish as Oftana bailed the Tropang Giga out and helped bolster their chances for a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
“He was in the right place at the right time,” said TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa of Oftana.
Hollis-Jefferson finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, Kelly Williams fired 16 points, while M. Williams posted 11 points before his exit.
Glenn Khobuntin and Justin Chua added 8 points each for the Tropang Giga, who have won six consecutive games.
Clark chalked up 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists in the loss as the Beermen slipped to second place with a 7-2 record.
TNT 105 – Castro 21, Hollis-Jefferson 19, K.Williams 16, Oftana 14, M.Williams 11, Chua 8, Khobuntin 8, Varilla 4, Montalbo 4.
San Miguel 103 – Clark 30, Perez 25, Fajardo 12, Cruz 10, Manuel 8, Tautuaa 6, Enciso 5, Lassiter 4, Bualandi 3, Brondial 0, Ross 0, Brondial 0.
Quarters: 24-20, 49-48, 83-77, 105-103.