Robert Bolick made it a point to give Myles Powell props after NorthPort and Bay Area figured in a thrilling PBA Commissioner’s Cup duel, Saturday night.
The Batang Pier saw themselves at the bitter end of a 105-104 loss no thanks to a buzzer-beating triple by the former NBA player, but the young star congratulated him by visiting the postgame presser to shake hands.
It was a rare sight to see but Bolick said that he simply tipped his hat to the American guard, who finished with 37 big points.
“Ganoon naman talaga, basketball ito eh,” he told reporters moments after the match at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“Last game, ako naka-shoot, lumapit naman si [Javee] Mocon sa akin. Ganoon talaga eh,” added the 27-year-old, referring to their 92-879 win over Phoenix Super LPG two nights ago that saw him nail the go-ahead triple.
“Kahit saan ka man naglalaro, ‘pag alam nila player ka, kaunting respeto lang. Away kayo sa loob, after ng game, props na lang. Ang hirap ng tira na ‘yun.”
And the admiration is mutual for Powell, who bared that he’s actually been talking to Bolick on social media as they are both Under Armour athletes.
“We’re both Under Armour athletes so we’ve been talking on social media and stuff. He’s a good guy. He had a great game as well,” said the Seton Hall alumnus.
“Real recognize real. Props to him as well.”
Bolick turned in an impressive outing as well, registering a career-high 33 points on a 44-percent clip with five rebounds and three assists as he tried to help NorthPort wield the upset axe on the guest team.
It was quite the performance for the four-year pro to lead the way for a crew that aimed to surprise the Dragons following the opposition’s dominant showing in the conference opener that saw them maul Blackwater by 46.
But it would have been so much better, according to Bolick, had they come out victorious — they actually had the chance to leave the venue with the win after leading by two points with 1:08 left, only to fall to a last shot.
“Panalo na kami eh,” he said. “Sama umuwi nang ganoon, dapat tinambakan na lang kami. Sama eh. Ang sakit eh. Panalo na kayo eh.
“Sana manalo naman kami ng close game, ilang beses na kami dito sa NorthPort, ilang beses na kami natalo ng game-winner.
“Hindi ko na nga mabilang eh. Ilang beses na, Magnolia, San Miguel, ito naman, bisita pa. Wala eh. Ganoon talaga basketball. ‘Pag hindi para sa’yo, hindi talaga para sa’yo,” the former no. 3 overall pick furthered.
But if there’s anything he can find solace from is that he and the Batang Pier showed that they can go toe-to-toe with a team as good as Bay Area.
“Kailangan mo lang ipakita na hindi ka takot. Hindi naman kinakatakutan ‘yung mga ganyan eh, basketball lang ‘to,” he said. “Hindi naman kami nagpatayan doon eh. Yun nga yung gusto ko talaga eh.
“Noong nag-World Cup kami, ibang klase ‘yung mga kalaban namin doon, two-time MVP na nga si Jokic, ‘di ba? ‘Yun ‘yung maganda sa basketball, ‘pag nakalaban ka ng mga ganoong klaseng player,” he continued.
“Kasi, nakikita mo kung saan ka na, anong level ka na ba, kaya mo na bang maki-compete sa mga ganoong klaseng player, kasi si Powell NBA player din yun, nag-NBA din ata, di ba? At least pag-uwi ko, masabi ko na nakipag-toe-to-toe ako sa isang NBA player.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.