MANILA, Philippines – Robert Bolick lived up to the billing in his PBA debut as he showed the way for NorthPort in its 117-91 shellacking of Blackwater in the 2019 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, January 16.
Picked third overall in the recent Rookie Draft, the former San Beda standout put up 26 points on a 10-of-12 shooting for a Batang Pier squad looking to make a splash this conference.
Bolick, who also had 3 rebounds and 3 assists, scored 10 of his output in the 1st quarter and was a pivotal piece in NorthPort's turnaround after trailing 26-38 in the 2nd period.
"'Yung Bolick, iba 'yun, made na made na 'yung bata. He's a winner, tsaka coachable. Nakikinig," said NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio of his prized rookie.
(Bolick is different. He's an accomplished kid. Not only is he a winner, he is also coachable, he listens.)
It was a balanced attack for the Batang Pier with Paolo Taha chalking up 21 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists and Sean Anthony delivering 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Last season's MVP runner-up Stanley Pringle was his usual self with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals and 5 assists while Bradwyn Guinto and Mo Tautuaa added 12 and 11 points, respectively, and conjoined for 11 boards in the win.
Although dealing their core of Poy Erram, Paul Zamar and John Pinto in separate trades, the Elite still looked competitive after leading by twin digits in the first half only to crumble heading into the 3rd, 48-55.
NorthPort then pulled away for good in the 4th and saw its lead grow to as large as 29 points, 111-82.
Rookie Abu Tratter paced the Elite with 18 points and 9 rebounds while Roi Sumang had 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Fourth overall pick Paul Desidero had a quiet debut with 5 points and 2 steals for Blackwater, which is badly missing the services of second overall pick Ray Parks.
Parks is expected to miss the entire all-Filipino conference since he is set to honor his commitment with the Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League.
NorthPort 117 - Bolick 26, Taha 21, Anthony 19, Pringle 16, Guinto 12, Tautuaa 11, Elorde 5, Flores 4, Arana 3, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.
Blackwater 91 - Tratter 18, Sumang 16, Maliksi 13, Javier 11, Belo 8, Digregorio 5, Jose 5, Desiderio 5, Alolino 4, Sena 2, Banal 2, Eriobu 2, Palma 0, Dario 0.
Quarters: 22-31, 55-48, 88-75, 117-91.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.