ROBERT Bolick said missing the PBA bubble will only serve as added motivation once he makes a full comeback for NorthPort next season.
"Gustong gusto ko sumama sa bubble kasi halos one year na rin akong nabakante," Bolick told Spin.ph, moments after it was announced that he won't be part of the NorthPort lineup for the Clark bubble. "Pero sumunod lang ako sa utos ng doktor sa akin."
It has been almost a full year since Bolick tore his ACL in his right knee in a game against San Miguel which cut short a sensational rookie season that also saw him earn a call-up to the Gilas Pilipinas side in the 2019 Fiba World Cup.
Although he has already made strides in his recovery and has since returned to practice, Dr. George Canlas did not give the former San Beda star his much-awaited clearance to see action in the bubble beginning October 11.
Bolick, though, believes that this absence could be a blessing in disguise as he finds comfort n the words of fellow players who like him have also dealt with ACL injuries.
"Ang dami kong kinausap na na nagkaroon na rin ng ganitong injury, sila Kuya Marc Pingris, si Kevin Alas," Bolick said. "Ang sabi lang nila sa akin pagdating sa ACL, hindi pwede yung 100-percent lang ang pakiramdam mo. Kung pwede nga, 1,000-percent pa para siguradong sigurado na."
The 6-foot-1 court general also expressed his gratitude to NorthPort management for its full support in these trying times.
"Napaka-happy ko sa team ko kasi kita mo naman yung sinabi nila (team manager) Bonnie (Tan) na ayaw pa nga nila akong i-risk kung hindi pa ko magaling na magaling. So sa part ko lang, magfo-focus ako lalo sa rehab ko at magpapalakas pa ulit para sa next na season, kung bubble man ulit o hindi, sigurado na akong makakasama at mas malakas pa," he said.
Though Bolick will not be present in Clark and will only be continuing his rehab program at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in Ateneo, he promised his teammates that he will be with them every step of the way, trusting that the likes of Nico Elorde, LA Revilla, Paolo Taha, and rookie Renzo Subido can fill his shoes and help the Batang Pier make waves this 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
"Alam na nila yan, lalo na yung veterans. Sabi ko naman sa kanila, I'll be supporting them every step of the way, papanoorin ko bawat laro nila, at kung kailangan nila ako, nandito lang ako ready sa tawag nila kung kailangan nila ng tulong," he said.
Bolick believes NorthPort will be the dark horse this conference, that much like the Miami Heat in the NBA, his side is capable of pulling off massive upsets.
"Palaban yung team namin at nakita ko yun sa mga practice namin. Maninibago lang siguro ulit sila na wala ako, pero lalaban at lalaban yung team namin," he said, counting on the likes of Christian Standhardinger and Sean Anthony to lead the team in the league restart.
Bolick now has his eyes set on the next season, guaranteeing NorthPort that he'll be in the best of shape next season.
"Di ako nagmamadali. I'm focusing on my rehab at pag nakabalik ako, alam mo naman na iisa lang ang nasa isip ko, yung manalo ng championship," he said. "So rehab lang ako ngayon, but promise ko next year, I'll be ready to go. And by next year, full force na ulit kami."