It doesn’t matter for Robert Bolick whether it’s 3×3 or 5-on-5 basketball, as long as he plays for the Philippines.
The NorthPort Batang Pier rookie admitted as much after his inclusion in the 12-man all-PBA pool for the men’s 3×3 event in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, set to be held here in Manila.
“Kahit saan, basta i-represent ko lang ang country, okay na ako dun. Basta basketball,” said Bolick moments after Gilas Pilipinas 3×3’s practice on Thursday at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
“Kahit 3×3, five-on-five, at least ‘pag tapos na ako, pwede kong masabi naglaro ako sa five-on-fivem, naglaro din ako sa 3×3. So at least napaglaruan ko lahat. ‘Yun ang importante,” the World Cuper continued.
“Basta ‘wag lang sa volleyball. Hindi naman ako volleyball player eh.”
Many expected Bolick’s inclusion in the pool for the 5-on-5 event following his good showing in the FIBA World Cup last September. However, coach Tim Cone opted for a veteran-laden team.
Still, Bolick doesn’t mind the non-inclusion, even expressing joy for those called up for Gilas for the first time.
“Yung Gilas kasi, ngayon na 5-on-5, masaya na ako dun kasi nakakasali na ‘yung hindi nakakasali,” he said. “Sina Chris Ross, ‘di ba… ‘Yung ibang players na hindi nakakasali, kasi may issue sa passport or something. At least nabibigyan sila ng opportunity na matagal na nilang hinihiling.
“Deserving naman talaga sila eh, kaso may rules lang diba. So at least ngayon ibibigay na lang natin sa kanila kasi deserving naman. Mas malakas naman talaga ‘yung lineup na yun eh,” he added.
“Kayang-kaya nila ‘yun. Andito lang naman tayong mga kapwa Pinoy sumusuporta sa kanila eh.”
Should he make it to the final four-man team, Bolick will have his first taste of SEA Games competition. Of course, he aims for no less than a gold, but he also expects a tough road en route to that.
“Gusto naming mag-gold ‘di ba? Pero ang balita ko magagaling daw ‘yung mga players dito eh,” said Bolick, who won the inaugural Intercollegiate 3×3 Invitationals with San Beda back in 2016.
“Siyempre kahit magagaling kami sa five-on-five, pagdating sa 3×3, mas magaling sila. So kailangan na namin na matutunan [kung] paano maglaro. Kasi mabilis ang laro dito eh.”