AS soon as he hit what turned out to be the title-winning trey, Robert Bolick glanced in the direction of the La Salle bench before celebrating with teammates.
Bolick certainly relishes reminding La Salle over and over again what the Archers lost when they let him go, but the San Beda hero insisted he no longer holds any grudges against his former team.
"Hindi naman ako galit," said Bolick, moments after his late three-pointer led San Beda past La Salle, 75-72, in the finals of the Filoil Flying V Premier Preseason Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
"Siyempre, competitive 'yung team na 'yun kaya maganda ang laban," he added. "Gusto ko magpasalamat sa kanila kasi binibigyan nila kami ng sobrang hirap na laro."
To prove how competitive the match was, Bolick said he and La Salle big man Ben Mbala trash-talked the whole time, but insisted it was nothing personal.
"Gusto ko kalaro si Ben kasi tina-trash talk niya ako, kaming dalawa. After the game, kaibigan pa rin kami," said Bolick, who was spotted exchanging hugs with Mbala after the match.
"'Yun ang maganda sa basketball. Gusto nila manalo. 'Yun ang napakaganda sa game na 'to," he added.
Bolick said the championship match could have gone other way and San Beda simply made the biggest shots in a closing 6-0 run.
"Deserving rin naman mag-champion ang La Salle. Na-shoot ni AC (Soberano yung three-points) sa Bostick area [advertising material on the floor from about 30 feet]. Sa ilalim, nakita ko na na-shoot. Kung na-miss 'yun, panalo sila," said Bolick.
Bolick said he watched the replay of Kyrie Irving's stepback three-pointer for the Cavaliers in Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Warriors the morning before the Filoil Cup finals - then longed for his own game-winning moment.
"Kaninang umaga, pag-gising ko, replay 'yung Game Seven," said Bolick, a Cavs fan. "Inaasar nga ako ni coach Boyet kasi natalo 'yung Cavs this year. Pinanood ko 'yung replay tapos sabi ko, 'Grabe 'yung stepback ni Kyrie.' Sana mangyari din sa akin 'yun kasi never pa ako nag-game-winner.
"Nangyari na pero barangay-barangay lang. Ngayon, kanina nakita ko, nag-switch, sabi ko, 'Eto na 'yun' pero nagdalawang isip ako kasi pag nagmintis ako, 'Patay, dapat inatake ko na lang."
"Sabi ko sa sarili ko, buong-buo, tinira ko. Siya naisip ko (Irving) na siya nga, hindi natakot. Sobrang saya," said Bolick.
After he finally wrote his own championship-winning moment, Bolick could no longer hold back his tears.
"Kahit sinong player, kapag game-winning tapos championship pa, hindi mo makakalimutan 'yung mga moments na 'yun. Kaya ako umiyak. Nung pagka-shoot, gusto ko na umiyak tapos umalis na."