ROBERT Bolick hopes that the huge comeback win over Meralco on Friday night will change the Batang Pier's fortunes when it comes to close games.
Bolick had previously said that he has grown tired of losing all these nail-biting games after the Batang Pier were denied by the Bay Area Dragons last week on a buzzer-beater by Myles Powell.
But Bolick made sure NorthPort went all the way this time as he finished with a new career-high of 44 points to complete the comeback from 20 points down, 101-95, against the Bolts.
Bolick turned emotional during the postgame press conference, still looked pleasantly shocked that they were able to pull off the victory.
“Lumaban lang kami,” said Bolick. “Pagod na kasi kami. Parati kaming natatalo sa dikitan eh. Ngayon, lumaban lang talaga kami. Hindi kami nag-give up. Sarap sa feeling na may pinaghirapan ka.”
“At least kahit papaano, sa last game namin masakit. 3-0 na sana kami ngayon. Okay lang. Masarap sa feeling,” said Bolick.
Bolick fought off cramps in the fourth as he scored 22 successive points to lead NorthPort back from a 67-47 deficit.
Down four in regulation, Bolick pulled off a steal that led to a lay-up, scored two crucial charities to send the game into overtime, 89-89, then started extra time with a three-pointer and a layup to turn the match around.
Even Bolick was not sure how he was able to put together that amazing stretch while battling cramps.
“Hindi ko rin alam. Feeling ko sa sapatos ‘yun,” said Bolick with a smile. “Umaangat na rin [ang] cramps. Pero kapag may coaching staff na sinasabing kaya mo pa, nandiyan sa likod mo, gusto ko lang talaga manalo ngayon.”
Bolick’s effort broke his previous career-high of 33 points he also set against the Bay Area Dragons. He is now averaging 32.7 points per game for the conference.
“Feeling ko suwerte ‘yung wedding ring ko. Two games ko na sinusuot. Sarap sa feeling. Nanonood asawa mo tapos maganda ang laro mo. Ang sarap ng feeling. Proud ako na married man ako,” said Bolick.
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio is also optimistic that the team can shed the 'choker' tag.
“Sabi nga ni Robert, ang dami na naming talong close games. Minsan naba-bash na kami, ‘Bakit ganyan kayo,’ ‘Choker ba kayo?’ ‘Ayaw niyo ba manalo ng end game.’ Siguro this is a testament na kahit papaano, na-overcome na namin ‘yun.
"Hanggang endgame, laban na ‘to.”
Bolick is confident the Batang Pier have turned the corner.
“Sana eto na,” said Bolick. “Sabi ni coach, nandiyan si Prince (Ibeh). Last time na maganda ang conference namin, siya ‘yung import namin. Mabait na import.”