All throughout his collegiate career, Robert Bolick has been known for his uncanny calmness and his poise under pressure. But his composure was tested during San Beda’s opening assignment in the second round of NCAA Season 93, Tuesday afternoon.
With the game already out of reach, as San Beda were leading 76-52 against the Saint Benilde Blazers with 2:28 left, Bolick was going for a fastbreak attempt against Carlo Young and Unique Naboa. Trying to stop the San Beda senior, Young took down Bolick by grabbing his right shoulder, forcing the two student-athletes to the ground.
After a long review of what happened, Young was thrown out of the game together with San Beda’s Clint Doliguez, who had come off the bench and entered the court. However, the officials also deemed that Bolick had allegedly thrown a closed fist, disqualifying him from the game.
Based on NCAA rules, any student-athlete who has been ejected for any game becomes ineligible to win a post-season individual award.
But even with this, Bolick — who is currently sixth in the Most Valuable Player race — expressed that he does not care about winning awards. All he wants he is to win.
“Isa lang ang masasabi ko sa kanila. I really don’t care if they hate me or ayaw nila sa akin. Okay lang sa akin ‘yun. Maga-appeal kami, if ever na hindi, okay lang sa akin. Sinabi ko naman sa team ko, sinasabihan nila ako na sayang naman kasi mag-MVP ka, sayang,” the 21-year-old said after the game.
“Sabi ko, ‘I’m not playing to win an MVP. I’m just playing to win’.”
Moreover, just as Coach Boyet Fernandez had said during the post-game scrum, the reigning PBA D-League Aspirants Cup MVP expressed that he is hoping that league commissioner Bai Cristobal has no bias against the Red Lions, as they are just doing what they love.
“Siguro feeling ko lang, sa side ko lang yun, kung mali ako, mali ako. Basta I just want to play the game that I love, growing up, this is my sport,” pointed out Bolick, who is averaging 13.56 points, 7.56 rebounds, and 4.67 assists. “Kung ano mang ang gagawin ng referees or commissioner, kung mainit sila sa akin, mainit sila sa team namin, bahala sila. That’s their job, and they think they’ve done their job then they’ve done their job.
“My job is to play for my team and bring the spirit, heart, love for the game and I hope that whatever the consequences they want to give me, I’ll accept it with a full heart.”
Keeping his cool, Bolick added that he has no grudge against Young. Moreover, even if he will be slapped with a one-game suspension, he remains confident that the Red Lions can still win without him.
“That’s the strength of San Beda, we have a lot of recruits. Our team is good from the starting five to the last player. Joe [Presbitero] is coming. Medyo may sakit lang siya pero nakakapaglaro na siya. I have full belief in my team, our team,” he expressed.
“We’re San Beda eh, we have the heart of a lion.
“We just have to play and prepare. If ever hindi ako makalaro, then I’ll just be a practice player for two days. To be ready on Friday, I’ll support them on TV. Bawal ata ako pumunta dito so I’ll support them on TV. I’m pretty confident that my team is gonna win,” Bolick declared.