Time and time again, Robert Bolick continues to prove that he always comes through.
Thursday evening, the San Beda Red Lions’ ace guard was set to be crowned as the Chooks-to-Go Player of the Year in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go/UAAP-NCAA Press Corps Collegiate Basketball Awards.
At around 3 o’clock in the afternoon however, one of the members of the press corps received a text saying that the 6-foot-1 combo guard was suffering from amoebiasis and he has been absent from practices for the last two days because of this. Making things worse, a heavy downpour of rain resulted in flooded streets on the way to the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.
But just as he had done all season long for the Red Lions, Bolick found a way to overcome.
The 21-year-old stuffed himself with meds and liquids before tapping a “habal-habal” just to get to the venue. At around 8:30 in the evening, he made his grand entrance.
“Sarap mag-angkas eh ‘pag traffic lang pero nakakatakot kasi umiiwas-iwas sa mga truck eh,” he quipped.
Bolick did not want to make the night a celebration of his stellar season. Instead, he sees the event as a tribute to the hard working men and women that cover the games night in and night out.
“Sinasabi ko talaga kapag wala naman kayo, ‘di naman kami sisikat eh. Kumbaga, kayo kumbaga yung coach, kami madali ang trabaho, mag-shoot lang,” he expressed. “Kayo, ang hirap ng trabaho niyo, nag-iisip pa kayo ng magandang stories. So credit talaga sa inyo guys, kung ‘di dahil sa inyo, makikilala ba kami? Wala naman atang pag-asang makilala kami.”
Still, Bolick deserves all the credit.
Even with norms of 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, Bolick was not eligible to win any NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball awards as he was thrown out of a game against the CSB Blazers last September 5.
That is why no Most Valuable Player plum could replace the honor of being the top collegiate basketball player in the country today.
“Sarap. Meaning lang noon, mahal na mahal niyo ko kaya mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat eh,” he shared. “Again, sa akin kasi wala yang mga individual na yan. This year kahit ma-thrown out ako wala akong pakialam basta I just want to win championships. Yung individual, bigay mo na sa kanila. I want a championship. My teammates are ready. We are ready this year.”
And it was worth it.
Besides being the first-ever NCAA student-athlete to win this honor, Bolick was also given PHP 15,000 by Chooks-to-Go as a token.
In true Bolick fashion, he couldn’t help but end his speech with a quip.
“Alam niyo ‘pag nasa Gilas ako, gustong-gusto ko matapos kaagad yung practice para makakain ulit ako ng Chooks-to-Go, ang nag-iisang Manok ng Bayan!”