Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

Calvin Oftana.–NCAA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas’ Calvin Oftana and CJ Perez are again within the nation however their heads are nonetheless within the clouds following their gold medal marketing campaign within the Asian Video games.

“That group was in a unique class. It was so particular as a result of virtually everybody was a veteran and knowledgeable,” mentioned Oftana, who got here out to help his alma mater San Beda, which misplaced to Lyceum, 67-62, within the NCAA Season 99 males’s basketball match on Sunday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

“Most of them are my kuyas (brothers) within the PBA however they’re there to information me and the staff, particularly coach Tim (Cone),” Oftana mentioned.

Gilas ended a 61-year gold medal drought within the Asiad males’s basketball match regardless of going through numerous manpower woes up till the nationwide staff’s departure for the meet, however Oftana recalled how a lot the staff was nonetheless ready to push the nation’s bid.

“We virtually didn’t compete however coach Tim requested us if we nonetheless wished to play and we answered ‘Sure coach even when there are simply seven of us left we are going to nonetheless play,’” Oftana mentioned.

CJ Perez. –NCAA PHOTO

Gilas’ profitable feat in Hangzhou, China, was an “honor” to offer to the nation, a aim that Perez mentioned they didn’t count on to perform at first. Perez, the previous Lyceum star, was amongst Gilas’ late additions together with Kevin Alas, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross.

However Oftana mentioned the championship was potential via the chemistry that they constructed through the quick coaching camp Gilas held a number of weeks faraway from its World Cup stint.

“We’re so joyful as a result of after 61 years we acquired the gold medal,” added Oftana, who praised naturalized participant Justin Brownlee’s “dream-like” capturing. “Dream lang ata yun yung nas-shoot ni JB lahat ng tira niya.”

In Gilas’ semifinal win over host China, Brownlee sank 33 factors together with 17 within the remaining body to steer a fightback from 20 factors down and earn a championship battle towards former PBA import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson-led Jordan.

Brownlee then collected 20 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists within the gold medal recreation towards Jordan.

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“For the nation, after all … It was tough however we’ve got Justin Brownlee so we helped him, we defended and ‘Magic’ Brownlee actually hit his photographs. Lord gave us the win and we’re so fortunate with the exhausting work of our teammates,” Perez mentioned.

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