By Adrian Stewart Co
Calvin Oftana scored on a go-ahead basket as NLEX Road Warriors stayed alive with an 81-80 win over Meralco Bolts in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals yesterday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Oftana, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft, scored on an inside hit from a perfect inbound pass by Ilonggo Jericho Cruz as the Road Warriors took a one-point edge with six seconds left.
Oftana finished the match with 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Road Warriors forced a do-or-die with sister team Bolts for a semifinals seat tomorrow.
Anthony Semerad led the Road Warriors with conference-high 23 points, including five three-pointers, while Celedonio Trollano and Cruz contributed 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
Allein Maliksi led the way with 16 points, Rey Mark Belo added 12 markers, while Bacolodnon Reynel Hugnatan and Kier John Quinto contributed 11 markers apiece for the Bolts.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beermen and Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots look to formalize their entry in the semifinals in Game 2 of their separate quarterfinals series.
The Beermen will face NorthPort Batang Pier in the first game at 2:00 p.m., while the Hotshots renew its rivalry with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 4:30 p.m.
The Beermen took a 1-0 edge after an 88-87 Game 1 win over Batang Pier last Sunday via a game-winner of Alex Cabagnot, while the Hotshots edged the Painters, 81-70./ASC, WDJ