The NCAA championship is the only trophy that matters to San Beda University’s Robert Bolick.
Nonetheless, Bolick will finally get the recognition he’s due for his leading role in the Red Lions’ title run when he is named as Player of the Year in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards on Thursday night at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.
The 6-foot-1 guard was the undisputed leader of a San Beda side that won their league-leading 21st title in NCAA Season 93.
However, Bolick was left out of any individual hardware after being disqualified from the Mythical Team due to a controversial ejection in an elimination round game, and after being edged out by teammate Donald Tankoua for Finals MVP.
While the 21-year-old is never one to look for personal glory, the fact remains that he was the catalyst for the Mendiola-based squad in two close contests in the Finals against the Lyceum Pirates and Season MVP CJ Perez.
Bolick came through for his team when it mattered most, dropping seven of his 24 points in the last two minutes of Game 1 and then scoring seven of his 22 markers with under five minutes remaining in Game 2.
As such, the scribes from print and online media – who organized the event supported by Chooks-to-Go, Cherrylume, and The Bayleaf Intramuros – have deemed him worthy of the highest honor.
The pride of Ormoc, Leyte is the first Red Lion and first NCAA standout to be hailed as Player of the Year. He follows La Salle’s Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala, Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, and FEU’s Mac Belo as winners of the award.
Joining Bolick in this year’s Mythical Team are Green Archer Mbala, Pirate Perez, and Blue Eagles Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena.
Meanwhile, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez and Ateneo de Manila University mentor Tab Baldwin will also be feted as Coaches of the Year.
Fernandez guided the Red Lions to their 10th title in the last 12 years after emphatic wins in the NCAA Finals against Lyceum, a team that swept the eliminations.
The Finals of the UAAP was also a showcase for the coaching prowess of Baldwin, who got the most out of all the Blue Eagles to thwart archrival La Salle for their first championship since 2012.
Special awards will also be given to women’s basketball legend Afril Bernardino of the NU Lady Bulldogs; UE Red Warriors scoring machine Alvin Pasaol; and the Lyceum of the Philippine University Pirates, who completed their transformation from league cellar-dweller to legitimate contender with an unprecedented 18-game sweep of the NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball tournament elimination round.