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Robert Bolick on staying with San Beda: ‘Minsan ka lang sa college’



Many expected Robert Bolick to forego his final year with the San Beda College Red Lions and join this year’s stacked 2017 PBA Draft class.

And Bolick had every reason to join, as he has had a stellar 2016-17 campaign.

After helping San Beda regain the crown exactly a year ago, the proud son of Ormoc City took his talents to the PBA D-League. There he turned heads, lifting the Cignal-San Beda Hawkeyes to the 2017 Aspirants’ Cup championship and winning the tournament’s MVP crown with averages of 12.2 points on 49.5 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals.2017-PBA-Dleague-Aspirants-Cup---Cignal-San-Beda-HD-Hawkeyes---Robert-Bolick

That alone showed everyone that he is ripe to enter the D-League.

The 21-year-old then continued his rampage in the NCAA, leading San Beda to a 16-1 record with norms of 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.

But with the PBA setting its draft application deadline to 5:00pm of Thursday, October 12, Bolick asked advice from everyone if he should jump to the big league, including head coach Boyet Fernandez and team manager Jude Roque.

“He texted me at around 4:55, he told me, ‘Coach, I’m sorry I already sent my application.’ I told him, ‘Hey! You still have five more minutes to take it out.’,” recalled Fernandez, who was the seventh overall pick in the 1993 draft.

“Only advice I gave him is look at the future. Mas maganda pa rin na mag-graduate ka. You still have one more year for San Beda but again, it’s really his decision.”

At the end of the day, Bolick decided to pull his application out. And it was because of San Beda College, the school that gave him a chance to show his wares after being stuck on La Salle’s bench from 2013-14.

“Yung decision ko to stay is because I love the school. Kung hindi naman dahil sa kanila, di naman ako magkakaganito e. Uulitin ko, bench player lang ako pero tinanggap nila ako with all heart and helped me improve my game,” a passionate Bolick expressed.

“Nakapunta ako sa States for the first time dahil sa kanila. Amerikano ako ah, first time ko nakapunta ng States because of them.

“Marami silang naibigay sa akin, from the security guard, janitors, teachers, lahat. Sobrang sarap sa San Beda. Minsan ka lang naman maging college player eh,” he added.

Moreover, his family told him that it is better to have a diploma before getting drafted so that he will be ready for life after basketball or if the PBA does not work for him.

“Yung family ko din gusto rin nila ako maka-graduate. One more year na lang kaya ko na mag-graduate, kung may bagsak bagsak ng kaunti, kaunti lang naman. At least kaunti na lang hahabulin ko kung magpa-draft ako,” said Bolick.

Fernandez, on his part, was delighted to have one more run with his ace point guard, as next season’s field will be tougher with a retooled Letran Knights and a more mature Lyceum Pirates on deck.NCAA 93 SBC vs. CSJL - Bolick-3220

“Again, I really appreciate that Robert took the other way and stayed with San Beda. I’m sure the whole San Beda community will love him for that,” said Fernandez, who owns a nursing degree from Colegio San Agustin–Bacolod, “I cannot ask for more, having Robert Bolick in my line-up next year. It will be good for us.”

“Sa totoo talaga, tinago niya yung papers ko. Tagal ko nang hinihingi sa kanya, wala pa rin,’ quipped Bolick.



PBA tweaks format for 2017-18 Philippine Cup playoffs



From 10 teams in the past, only eight teams will advance into the 2018 Philippine Cup playoffs as the PBA made a few changes in its’ format for the 43rd season’s Philippine Cup, making every single game important for all teams.

The way the playoffs will be played out though remains the same. The top two teams will have a twice-to-beat edge over teams ranked seventh and eight, while the ones in the middle (3 vs 6, 4 vs 5) will figure in best-of-three contests.

Both the semifinals and finals will still be best-of-seven affairs.

Meanwhile, the league has also released the full schedule of the Philippine Cup Friday, eight days after publicizing a partial sked that only showed games from December 17 to 29.

SMART-Araneta Coliseum, SM Mall of Asia Arena, and Ynares Center in Antipolo will serve the main venues of PBA games. The FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan and the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay will also hold a few matches.

This season’s Christmas Games, which features GlobalPort Batang Pier-NLEX Road Warriors and Barangay Ginebra-Magnolia Hotshots, will be staged at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

And just like in the past seasons, the league will also hold playdates in out-of-town venues such as Ilo-ilo City, Legazpi in Albay, Calasiao in Pangasinan, Dumaguete City, and Cagayan de Oro City. All of these are set on Saturdays.

The PBA will raise the curtains of its’ 43rd year this Sunday, December 17, at the Big Dome, with defending champions San Miguel Beermen starting their four-peat bid against a revamped Phoenix Fuel Masters at 6:45 PM.

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SBP, Robbie Puno still looking for ‘right player’ to naturalize for 2023 World Cup



Though a lot of foreign cagers have presented themselves as willing to play for SMART Gilas Pilipinas and become naturalized Filipino, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has yet to pick on who will be the heir apparent to Andray Blatche come the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“At this point in time, we do not have any particular player yet. My understanding is we’re still looking for the best possible candidate,” shared SBP vice chairman Robbie Puno during the celebration of the 2023 World Cup hosting held at Crowne Plaza in Pasig City.

Blatche, who last played for Gilas during the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, will be 37 years old when the 2023 edition rolls around. Names that have been thrown out during the calendar year were former Blackwater Elite import Greg Smith, who will be 33 years old in 2023, and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas reinforcement Isaiah Austin, who will turn 30 by that time.

Still, Puno and his group are taking their time, carefully filtering the candidates as to not hamper the process of the legislative body of the Philippines.

“If our target is 2023, there will be probably enough time for us to make sure we have the right player in terms of his basketball skills, but also his age as well as his attitude,” said Puno, a former congressman representing the first district of Antipolo City.

Moreover, the 55-year-old politician has already planted the seeds for this long process by already talking to the members of the Lower House who will author the bill.

“Right now, we’re ready to spearhead that process. We’ve spoken with a couple of congressmen who will author the bill,” Puno disclosed.

“What we’re waiting for is the imprimatur as to who we will really make the effort to naturalize, because when you start that process, it becomes really difficult.”

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SOURCES: Perpetual Help taps Frankie Lim as consultant



Frankie Lim looks to bring a championship to a school that is hungry for it/PBA Images

Frankie Lim will steer a once-heated rival to the promised land

The multi-titled mentor has been appointed as a team consultant of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas as the 57-year-old tactician will be tasked to reboot the team after a lackluster run in the NCAA Season 93 Seniors’ Basketball tournament.

Sources closely monitoring the situation bared that Lim is now running practice for the Altas as he works side-by-side with coach Jimwell Gican.

“Consultant na siya sa Perpetual, pero siya rin ang nagpapatakbo sa practice,” the source said.

Another source confirmed the development and also shared that Lim is looking to bring in two of his assistants in the coaching staff, further proving his seriousness for the job. The names of the assistants, however, were not disclosed.

The Altas went 4-14 last season with Gican at the helm as he relied on Prince Eze, Gab Dagangon, and AJ Coronel to lead the squad.

According to a third source, it was either Lim or NCAA Season 93 commissioner Bai Cristobal who was being picked by Perpetual Help to serve as the team’s consultant. However, Cristobal still wanted to assume his role as league commissioner for one more year, especially since Perpetual Help is hosting the 94th season of the Grand Old League.

Perpetual is looking for an early preparation for NCAA Season 94 as it joins the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup in January.

Lim was last seen in the sidelines in the PBA when he coached Ginebra in 2015. He won four titles with his alma mater San Beda from 2007 to 2011 Before briefly going to Indonesia to coach Stadium Jakarta.

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Cost of hosting FIBA World Cup is ‘expensive’, says MVP



The officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas were in a celebratory mood on Thursday afternoon as the federation celebrated the Philippines’ hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. And this was a real victory for the country after it suffered heartbreak back in 2015 during the announcement of the 2019 FIBA World Cup hosting.

“When we lost to China in Tokyo, there were two parts in that presentation. The first is the emotional part, we won hands down,” recalled SBP Chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan. “Yao Ming came over and said you won that one.

“We just lost in the infrastructure bid.”

That was why the Philippines needed to alter its pitch for the 2023 tourney. Instead of focusing on emotion, the country tapped the assistance of Japan and Indonesia for its new bid.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

But with this, many wondered how much will it cost for the country to host this tournament that will feature 32 teams from all across the world. The officials of the national sports association were mum about it, only saying that it’s “expensive”.

“The first word that came to my mind was expensive.

“I don’t think it’s right to be precise about numbers,” Pangilinan shared.

“Sa amin na lang yun. We really can’t disclose it eh,” admitted Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Cayetano

Despite the high costs, the SBP is gunning to break the all-time FIBA attendance record.

The record was set back in the 1954 edition of the tournament in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, that attracted 35,000 fans. The Philippine Arena, which will host the semifinals and final of the tournament, has a capacity of 55,000.

“We think we will surpass the FIBA-record for attendance. Imagine a Team USA vs. Gilas Finals,” quipped SBP president Al Panlilio.

Still, Pangilinan — who said that hosting the tournament will be his lasting legacy to Philippine sports — expressed that the cost does not matter if it will give joy to the Filipino people.

“You cannot put a price on this thing.”

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