May 24, 2024

PBA: NLEX's Robert Bolick fires 31 points in thrilling overtime win vs former team NorthPort

NLEX's Robert Bolick gave his all against his former team NorthPort. Photo (c) PBA

In the battle between prolific scorers Robert Bolick and Arvin Tolentino, the guy in blue and white prevailed. 

Bolick fired 31 points and NLEX hammered out a 107-100 win over NorthPort in overtime in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao on Friday, March 1.

The cat-quick guard uncorked 11 points in the fourth quarter then went 3-for-4 from the foul line in the extra period to prevail in his square-off against Tolentino and his former team.


Tolentino carried Batang Pier behind his 29 points, including 16 in the fourth period. 

His three-pointer and drive in the last 30 seconds of play allowed NorthPort to erase a 93-97 deficit and force the overtime at 98-all.

But he bungled his last two attempts in the final 46 seconds of the extension even as Bolick sparked a 6-0 closing run for the Road Warriors.

“Nandoon pa rin 'yung pagmamahalan as teammates. Doon ako na-draft, eh," said Bolick during the post-game presser.

"Masaya kaming nanalo kami."

Bolick finished with a 9-for-22 clip that went with five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block against two turnovers.

The fourth period saw Bolick and Tolentino trade baskets, with the former even coming up with a rare four-point play that tied the game at 81-all with 8:38 remaining.

Tolentino took charge for the Batang Pier after that as he led the way for the squad in the nip-and-tuck contest in the frame.

He reeled off four points to erase an 89-93 deficit and knot the count for NLEX at 93 with 1:31 to go.

As the Road Warriors grabbed the upperhand anew, 97-93, behind a Bolick split and Anthony Semerad triple, Tolentino answered with a trey of his own before scoring off a spin against the suffocating defense of Anthony Semerad, 98-all, with 71 ticks remaining.

Bolick missed a potential game-winning triple with 1.4 at the clock.

“It’s all about heart,” said NLEX coach Frankie Lim.

Enoch Valdez contributed 16 points while Sean Anthony and Semerad each had 15 to backstop Bolick.

Allyn Bulanadi produced 19 markers for NorthPort but did not make his presence felt in overtime.

Zavier Lucero scored 13, the last two of which came from a layup that forced a 100-all standoff with 2:44 remaining in the extension, but the Batang Pier was silenced after that. He also had eight rebounds and four blocks in his PBA debut.

Returning Will Navarro also chipped in 12 points for the Batang Pier.