An NCAA Championship, a D-League crown and MVP honor, and now, the Premier Cup
This time around, 21-year-old Robert Bolick thanked his teammates, the De La Salle University, and Kyrie Irving for his game-winning three pointer that gave the San Beda College Red Lions their second-ever Filoil Flying V Premier Cup championship.
Bolick, a product of the La Salle basketball program and a former Green Archer who now dons a San Beda uniform, was emotional during the alma mater hymn of La Salle after the Red Lions’ 75-72 win, Sunday night. It reminded him of his days playing for the green and white back in 2014.
“Bumalik yung moments ko sa kanila. Gusto ko magpasalamat sa La Salle kasi sila naman tumulong sa akin eh. They are the first one to discover me.
“Sa high school then sa college, yun nga sinabi ko, maybe di talaga para sa akin yung sa La Salle. Laking pasalamat ko sa kanila kasi marami akong natutunan dun,” the Ormoc native said.
After bagging the gold, and despite exchanging haughty words with foreign-student athlete Ben Mbala during the game, Bolick has nothing but kind words to his former team.
“One of the best teams ang La Salle, no question. Sila Melecio, Rivero, can make shots. Kahit yung bigs nila, sa kwatro, Santillan, Baltazar,” Bolick, who had 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, during the title-clinching game, shared.
“Tapos si Ben, gustong gusto kong kalaro si Ben, kasi tinatrashtalk niya ako. Nag-tra-trash talkan kaming dalawa. Pero after ng game, kaibigan pa rin.”
When asked about his thoughts before taking the game-winning triple at 8.5 seconds, Bolick, a Cavs fan, laughed and giddily answered “Kyrie Irving.” Apparently, Bolick has been dreaming of pulling off something like what Kyrie Irving had done in the Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
“Sabi ko, sana mangyari din sa akin yun. Kasi never pa nga nangyayari sa akin yun na game winning, nangyari na pero barangay-barangay lang.
“Nakita ko kanina, nag switch, so naisip ko, ito na yun, pero nagdadalawang isip ako kasi pag nag mintis ‘to, patay, dapat inatake ko na lang, pero tinira ko tapos siya [Irving] inisip ko, sabi ko kung siya [Irving] nga di natakot, eh na-shoot ko. Saya!” Bolick animatedly recalled.
Aside from Kyrie, he thanked his teammates for catalyzing their win against the defending champions of the Premier Cup and UAAP.
“Sobrang happy ako kay Clint Doliguez. He came in and gave us another spark. Si Kemark Carino kanina, pumasok, silang dalawa nanaman. Si AC [Soberano], sobrang lamig, pumasok, na shoot yung three points,” said the 6-foot-1 combo guard who is entering his second playing year with San Beda.
“Yun ang pinaka maganda sa team namin, kahit sino tawagin mo, ready!”
And with the NCAA beginning in just two weeks, he now has his sights set on retaining their crown.
“Marami kami natutunan. Ito yung stepping stone namin para ready sa NCAA. I’m ready for NCAA, July.”
– By: Danine Cruz