After a PBA debut to remember, Robert Bolick nearly had a night to forget.
NLEX must have put the product out of San Beda on top of their scouting report on Sunday as Bolick’s playmaking was rendered ineffective. He still finished with 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting, but what stood out was his seven turnovers and the lack of a single assist in 32 minutes as a starter.
“Binabasa ko pa ang laro. Second game,” Bolick noted. “Iba ‘yung depensa nila. Kailangan kong matuto sa mga ganoon. Learning experience sa akin ‘to so lahat ng mali ko, masaya ako kasi alam ko ang mga mali ko.”
It wasn’t all that bad, though. With head coach Pido Jarencio fielding him late despite the miscues, Bolick took advantage and scored four in a crucial payoff period—including an insurance trey that helped push their lead to 89-85 with 3:39 left—to help the Batang Pier pull away for good.
“Ready naman ako lagi ‘pag ganoong moment eh. ‘Pag ganoon, ready lang parati. Shoot. Panalo. Ang sarap sa feeling na nanalo kami ulit,” the rookie guard said.
Aside from his grasp on the team’s offense, Jarencio said that his confidence to play his prized rookie in the clutch stemmed from Bolick’s poise and willingness to continuously learn.
“Steady, steady yung bata. He is really a smart player. Nag-iisip eh, tsaka nakikinig. ‘Yan ang importante, nakikinig. At saka, alam mo naman ‘yung type kung player nag-iisip eh, hindi lang sarili ang iniisip, ‘yung buong team ang iniisip,” the mentor said.
“Meron naman siyang mga x-factor na ginagawa eh. Naga-assist siya, he’s defending. May mga crucial na shot, ‘di ba kanina may-fadeaway shot siya, may 3-points pa. Tibay yung bata, talagang wala ka ng masabi,” he added.
Bolick will look to bring these lessons moving forward as he aims to improve along with the team, who now stand at 2-0 in the standings thanks to a solid start to open the conference.
“The more na nagkakamali ako, the more na natututo ako. Ang pinaka-importante ay natuto and nanalo kami. Pag nanalo, masaya ang lahat,” he said.
“Naging happy ako sa mga mali ko. Nagkamali ako tas madami akong natutunan. Yun ang importante. At least pag nanood ako ng game, nanonood ako sa mga mistake ko.”
(Photo credit: PBA Media Group)