ROBERT Bolick had a grand debut as NorthPort opened its PBA Philippine Cup campaign in style, blasting Blackwater, 117-91, on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Bolick was quickt to justify his billing as the No. 3 pick in the last PBA draft after finishing with a team-high 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field in his first game as a pro.
The shooting guard out of San Beda set the tone for the game by scoring 10 points in his first six minutes on the floor and remained on fire the rest of the way.
"Nag compliment si Bolick sa team," said coach Pido Jarencio of his prized acquisition, who also shot 3-of-5 from three-point range. "Made na made na yung bata. He's a winner, coachable, nakikinig."
Bolick's output was the most scored by a rookie in his first game since Sol Mercado poured in 29 points for Rain or Shine during the 2009 Philippine Cup.
But there's more to NorthPort than Bolick himself.
Paolo Taha added 21 points on 9-of-19 shooting and had 10 in the third quarter when he conspired with the 23-year-old Bolick in a key run that enabled the Batang Pier to take control for good.
Sean Anthony had 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while Stanley Pringle had a quiet 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for NorthPort, which had two other players in Bradwyn Guinto and Mo Tautuaa in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Lervin Flores only had four points but grabbed 12 rebounds for the Batang Pier, who led by as many as 29 points (111-82) late in the game.
The 26-point winning margin was also the second largest in NorthPort franchise history, according to league chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
"It was a all about team effort naman," said Jarencio. "Lahat naman did their share."
Rookie Abu Tratter showed the way for Blackwater with 18 points and nine rebounds, Roi Sumang shot 4-of-5 from three-point range for 16 points, while Allein Maliksi added 11.
Paul Desiderio, the No. 4 overall pick in the last draft, finished with five points for the Elite.
NorthPort (117) - Bolick 26, Taha 21, Anthony 19, Pringle 16, Guinto 12, Tautuaa 11, Elorde 5, Flores 4, Arana 3, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.
Blackwater (91) - Tratter 18, Sumang 16, Maliksi 13, Javier 11, Belo 8, Digregorio 5, Jose 5, Desiderio 5, Alolino 4, Sena 2, Banal 2, Eriobu 2, Palma 0, Dario 0.
Quarterscores: 22-31; 55-48; 88-75; 117-91.