MANILA, Philippines – Robert Bolick showed that he is ready to take over the mantle at NorthPort, following the trade of top gunner Stanley Pringle to Barangay Ginebra.
Two games since the Batang Pier dealt Pringle to Ginebra for the trio of Kevin Ferrer, Sol Mercado, and Jervy Cruz, the rookie guard out of San Beda University jacked up his numbers in helping the team clinch a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Bolick averaged 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists in an all-around effort to steer NorthPort to back-to-back wins over Rain or Shine and Blackwater and hike its record to a league-best 7-1 slate, in a tie with TnT Katropa.
The impressive performance earned the 23-year-old native of Leyte his first ever PBA Press Corps-Cignal Player of the Week for the period June 17-23.
Also getting a vote from the PBAPC was Bolick's NorthPort teammate Sean Anthony.
Others who contended for the weekly citation were Batang Pier Moala Tautuaa, Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy of TNT Katropa, San Miguel Beer’s Alex Cabagnot, Paul Lee of Magnolia, Pringle, and Jericho Cruz of NLEX.
In NorthPort's first game without the 32-year-old Pringle, Bolick and Tautuaa carried the fight for the Batang Pier by rallying them from as much as a 25-point deficit to nip the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in overtime, 107-105.
Bolick hit 22 points and fired the pressure-pack three-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation that sent the game into overtime.
Tautuaa finished with a career-high 34 points for NorthPort, which played with only an eight-man rotation.
Three days after, Bolick was at it again, missing just a single rebound of completing a triple double in the team's 127-99 rout of the Elite. He finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists in the win that marked the first game of Mercado, Ferrer, and Cruz with the team.
Bolick admitted he owed Pringle a lot for making him the player that he is with NorthPort right now.
"Gusto ko siyang makasama ng mas matagal. Kaso one conference lang, madami pa sana akong matututunan. Kung ano man meron ako ngayon (sa) laro ko, lahat, sa kanya (Pringle) ko natutunan yun," said Bolick of the player he considered as his first pro mentor.
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