MANILA, Philippines -- Robert Bolick has put the PBA's break in action to good use, as the NorthPort guard continues to recover from a knee injury that he suffered during last season's Governors' Cup.
Bolick, the third overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, was having a superb freshman campaign with the Batang Pier. Given the keys to the offense by coach Pido Jarencio, he averaged nearly 13 points and 6 assists per game in the third conference, but tore the ACL in his right knee in October 2019.
He was expected to be out of action for eight months, meaning he would have missed at least the All-Filipino Cup and the Commissioner's Cup. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Bolick has not missed any games in the PBA's 45th season.
"Recovery (na) ako," Bolick said in an interview on "Umagang Kay Ganda" on Wednesday. "Magaling na, actually."
"Bad timing sa kalahatan itong pandemic. Pero para sa akin, parang nagiging good, kasi hindi ako nakakapag-miss ng games, walang practice, so focus ko talaga is magpalakas," he added.
Before his injury, Bolick had been a major factor in NorthPort's run to the playoffs. Moreover, he was an impact player for Gilas Pilipinas in their campaign in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
But the ACL tear -- the first major injury of his career -- cast a doubt over his basketball future.
"Hindi ko alam kung bakit ang iba, sinasabi, 'Ah wala na 'yan,'" said Bolick. "Kumukuha ako ng lakas sa mga tao nagda-doubt sa akin. Ever since naman, nasa La Salle pa ako, sa San Beda, 'yun lang, doon ako kumukuha ng lakas."
"'Yung mga taong nagsasabi na 'wala na 'yan' or 'hindi niya na kaya.' Doon ako kumukuha ng lakas, doon ako lalong nagiging motivated," he added.
He vows not to change his playing style at all when he returns to NorthPort, and the guard remains focused on the goals he set ever since he stepped foot in the PBA.
"Gusto lang mag-champion talaga. Wala akong ibang hangad na, gusto ko mag-MVP or mag-Mythical. Wala akong ganoon," Bolick said.
"Gusto ko champion lang, as much as I can, gusto ko to win, five, 10, 15, 20 championships sa PBA. 'Yun lang ang hangad ko -- just to win."
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