Robert Bolick came up clutch yet again as he saved the NorthPort Batang Pier from the Meralco Bolts, 93-92, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City.
The rookie out of San Beda sank a lay-up off an aggressive drive to the rim with 4.3 seconds left to give the narrow edge to NorthPort. A miss by Chris Newsome on the other end sealed the victory.
Bolick finished with 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the victory that improved the Batang Pier’s win-loss card to 9-2, which keeps them in the hunt of the top seed.
“Yung last kasi goaltending eh, ngayon shoot,” said Bolick, referring to the lay-up he missed versus Columbian Dyip last July 3 but was later counted in as Lester Prosper got called for goaltending.
Import Prince Ibeh had 15 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks, an assist, and a block in the win.
Sol Mercado chimed in 12 points, half of which came from beyond the arc. Starting point guard Nico Elorde flirted with a double-double as he finished with 10 markers and eight caroms.
NorthPort, though, missed the services of Sean Anthony as he decided to sit out to rest his ankle.
“It’s all about team effort. Gusto lang naman ng players na coming from a win and at the same time it’s a strong finish for us dito sa conference,” said Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio.
Chris Newsome had 21 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a block to set the pace for Meralco.
Import Delroy James, who’s now played his second game in the PBA, finished with a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists against four turnovers in nearly 40 minutes.
The Bolts have dropped to a 3-7 win-loss record, and their defeat has allowed Magnolia Hotshots and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters — who are both carrying 5-5 cards — to seal playoff berths.
Meralco has one more game left against the San Miguel Beermen in the last day of the eliminations in July 17.
NorthPort 93 – Bolick 18, Ibeh 15, Mercado 12, Elorde 10, Ferrer 9, Lanete 9, Tautuaa 6, Cruz 5, Flores 5, Taha 4, Arana 0, Gabayni 0.
Meralco 92 – Newsome 21, James 17, Amer 16, Hodge 13, De Ocampo 10, Faundo 4, Almazan 4, Quinto 4, Tolomia 2, Hugnatan 1, Salva 0, Pinto 0, Canaleta 0, Jackson 0.
Quarterscores: 22-28, 45-43, 62-67, 93-92.