Robert Bolick: Batang Pier not pushovers anymore
MANILA, Philippines—It may be a bold assumption, but Robert Bolick has changed NorthPort’s fortune on the back of his leadership.
Despite being a rookie, Bolick is seen as the great hope for the Batang Pier after he was given the reins when former franchise player Stanley Pringle was traded to Barangay Ginebra earlier in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
In just his second conference, Bolick led the Batang Pier to an impressive 9-2 record for the no.2 seed in the Commissioner’s Cup, but things fell apart when they lost to mighty San Miguel in the quarterfinals.
NorthPort held a twice-to-beat advantage over the Beermen, owners of 26 championships, in the quarterfinals but lost the opener, 98-84, and the rubber match in disappointing fashion, 90-88, Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nevertheless, Bolick believed that the show the team displayed this conference and the tough series they had against the Beermen would ultimately change the way NorthPort is seen.
“They’re the champs for a reason, pretty sure they have my respect and the most important thing is that we’re not pushovers anymore,” said Bolick in Filipino.
NorthPort has been in the league since 2012 and in seven years it has made the playoffs 10 times. Its 9-2 record this conference was a franchise-best and Bolick was the star of the show with averages of 17 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists.
This type of performance has also given him head coach Pido Jarencio’s trust, especially late in the game.
Bolick nearly led the Batang Pier to the win against the Beermen in the do-or-die matchup when he scored on a ridiculously high bank shot over Arwind Santos to give his team the 88-87 lead with 31.8 seconds left.
If not for Chris McCullough’s response on the next possession, Bolick’s bank shot would’ve sent shockwaves around the league.
“My favorite thing to do is during those crucial moments, I live and die in them,” said Bolick who had 13 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in the rubber match. “I like the pressure, it keeps me motivated, and if I miss of course there will be detractors, but it just keeps me motivated.”
“I want to up my game even more, I’m not scared of the pressure, I love it.”
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