ROBERT Bolick may have hit the championship-winning shot for San Beda, but he was quick to pay tribute to the team's unsung heroes led by Clint Doliguez.
Doliguez provided instant offense for the Red Lions, contributing eight points in 10 minutes. The former Ateneo player scored San Beda's first four points of the fourth quarter before hitting a three in a 9-0 run that put the Red Lions ahead, 64-59.
That set the stage for a thrilling endgame highlighted by the game-winner for Bolick, who, like Dolinguez, joined San Beda after an uneventful stay with another team.
"Sobrang happy ako kay Clint Doliguez," said Bolick. "He came in and gave us another spark. 'Yung last game namin versus JRU, pumasok siya tapos instant offense. Ngayon, pumasok uli siya, instant offense na naman."
Bolick also praised Kenmark Carino, who had six points while defending La Salle star Ben Mbala, and AC Soberano, who hit the game-tying triple in the fourth quarter before Bolick's heroics.
A halftime talk by San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez put the reins on an 'overeager' Bolick and allowed the other San Beda players to join the act.
"He (Bolick) really wanted to prove himself in the first half," said Fernandez. "I told them you can't win alone. He was forcing his shots in the first half and we only had four assists.
"I told Robert if you want to beat La Salle, you don't have to beat (them by your lonesome). You have to play with the team. And it showed in the second half. It was a different Bolick. He shared the ball."
With the game on the line, however, Fernandez still turned to Bolick.
"But in the end, we will live and die with Bolick. That's why he made the shot," Fernandez admitted.
Bolick admitted he was too eager to win the championship game, but the halftime talk helped him realize how his teammates can also contribute to the Red Lions' cause.
"Sobrang gigil lang ako maglaro kasi gusto ko mag-champion. Dapat hindi individual kasi hindi naman ako ganung klaseng player," Bolick said.
"'Yun ang maganda sa team namin, ready lagi. Si Kenmark Carino, pumasok silang dalawa (ni Doliguez). Kanina, si AC, sobrang lamig pero shoot 'yung three points namin. Sobrang deep namin. We are ready to play kahit sino ang ipasok," he added.