Batang Pier on a roll behind young leader

Robert Bolick: NorthPort anchor. —PBA IMAGES

Robert Bolick had plenty of time to think about what NorthPort was doing—and couldn’t do—when the squad was placed under the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) health protocols that kept the Batang Pier from playing in the first week of the league’s restart.

They seem to have made good use of that.“We were placed too low at 1-3,” he said on Sunday night, just moments after the Batang Pier held off NLEX’s last-minute fightback for a 96-94 Philippine Cup victory at Don Honorio State Ventura University in Bacolor, Pampanga, NorthPort’s third straight win which kept the side in strong playoff contention.

“We’ve lost to a pair of game-winners, so we were really thinking about it—that we could’ve pulled through had we done our best. So we kept talking during our stay [at the villa]. It turned out OK,” added Bolick, who finished with 26 points on the eve of his 26th birthday.

The Batang Pier whipped Blackwater, 98-73, took a day off, and then went on to rip Terrafirma, 104-84, on the way to Sunday night’s victory that capped a whirlwind week.

Bolick starred in all of those wins. He flirted with a triple-double against the Bossing, was efficient against the Dyip, and scored in bunches against the Road Warriors.

The young guard said he’s drawing inspiration from a lot of things, counting NorthPort coaching staff led by Pido Jarencio, who are still recovering from COVID-19.

The team’s potential is enormous with the arrivals of rookie Jamie Malonzo and seasoned big man Greg Slaughter.

“We’re really inspired. We want to rise in this conference. We have plenty of good pieces this time, and our performance has been solid so far,” said Bolick.

“It makes my heart flip seeing our players working hard to win. As one of the team’s leaders, that’s what you really want to see,” he added. INQ

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