MANILA – Robert Bolick played like an import for the NorthPort Batang Pier, setting a career-high 44 points to lead his team past the Meralco Bolts on Friday.
Bolick scored 22 of the last 29 points of Batang Pier that sealed a stunning comeback against the Bolts, 101-95, via overtime in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Down by 11 in the payoff quarter, the former San Beda Red Lions star dropped a 17-6 run in the final five minutes of the regulation to force an extra five minutes.
He continued his scoring barrage in OT with a 5-0 start, including a triple, to give NorthPort a 94-89 lead, 3:13 left in the match.
Bong Quinto tried to keep Meralco alive with a three-pointer but Arwind Santos responded immediately to keep a 99-93 gap.
Santos’ layup in the final three seconds ended the match to give NorthPort its second win of the season for a 2-1 record.
Bolick received help from Santos and Arvin Tolentino, who conspired for 27 points.
Meanwhile, NorthPort spoiled the debut of Johnny O’Bryant, who registered 30 points for Bolts while Raymond Almazan had 17 markers.
Down by nine after the first 12 minutes, the Bolts appeared to have controlled the match, holding Batang Pier scoreless for eight minutes while dropping a massive 19-0 run to establish a 36-26 separation.
Meralco’s advantage ballooned to 20 points in the third quarter after a layup of their import, 67-47.
But NorthPort fought back and unleashed an 11-0 run, sparked by a pull-up jumper from Arwind Santos at the 4:06 mark, 58-67.
Allein Maliksi’s trey at the 5:26 mark in the fourth was the last hurrah of Meralco as they had an 83-72 lead until Bolick caught fire and torched them in the next 10 minutes of the game.
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