Calvin Oftana, through his agency Titan Management Group, was able to submit his application form for the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft, Tuesday.
It was a day before the deadline of entries.
And it took this long because the 25-year-old native of Dumaguete City felt torn over whether to play out his final year with San Beda or move on to the pros.
“Pinagisipan ko talaga ng maraming beses ito — nag tanong-tanong ako sa mga taong malapit sa akin,” Oftana shared to Tiebreaker Times.
It did help Oftana that he was with batchmates and PBA pros in Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
The Gilas pool for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window arrived in the Calambubble last January 10.
By the second day, he was already able to talk to the likes of William Navarro and Javi Gomez de Liaño – both of whom were in the same predicament as him. Navarro ended up joining the draft, while the older GDL bro opted to remain with University of the Philippines.
And then there was the advice of his big brothers in Gilas like Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and Justin Chua. It also helped that his head coach Boyet Fernandez was in the bubble as well.
In the end, it came down to his family. By going to the PBA, he can finally support them.
“Yung huling naisip ko is yung family ko kaya ako nagpa-draft.”
Oftana is expected to be a high pick in the upcoming draft set on March 14. He is a versatile 6-foot-6 forward who normed 15.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks in his final season.
But in order to move forward, he had to look back – and he is forever grateful to San Beda for helping him be the man that he is today.
“Forever grateful ako sa San Beda sa pag tulong sakin.”