ALEX Cabagnot and San Miguel coach Leo Austria were left in how by how clutch Robert Bolick was for NorthPort in a dramatic 88-87 loss to San Miguel in the opener of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals series.
The veteran guard said he was no longer stunned when Bolick buried that three-pointer from near-midcourt with five seconds left that put the Batang Pier up by a point with five seconds left after trailing by as much as 13 points.
Although he’d seen the third-year guard pull off a similar basket from just about the same range in NorthPort’s game against Alaska, what amazed him was Bolick hitting the shot with SMB backcourt partner Chris Ross in his face.
“He was up against a great defender. Chris Ross is one of the best if not the best guard/defender in PBA history. So, when he made that shot, it’s just a testament to his hard work also,” said Cabagnot of Bolick.
“He had a great game and he hit that crucial shot. You know, obviously with these younger guys coming in, you just want the best for them,” added the 38-year-old guard considered one of the clutch players in PBA annals.
“Hopefully, he continues his hard work. We’re seeing it now, hopefully we can see more of it in the future.”
Incidentally, Bolick was 0-for-5 from three-point range before hitting that one from a step inside the midcourt logo, capping his personal burst of six points that almost won it for the fifth-seeded Batang Pier.
My fault, says Austria
Austria acknowledged failing to remind the Beermen coming off a timeout that Bolick may just pull up from near center court, having seen him do it before.
“Most of the time, he’s (Bolick) trying to shoot from that area. And it’s my fault that I wasn’t able to tell some of the players that he can shoot even from the midcourt,” said Austria.
“It’s a gamble. Pero tumama, e,” he said.
Good thing, there was still enough time left for the Beermen to execute one last play, with Cabagnot taking care of everything.
“We’re lucky because there’s still a lot of time remaining for us to score another basket.”
Bolick finished with 13 points, three rebounds, and seven assists.
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