ROOKIE Robert Bolick looks like a perfect fit for NorthPort Batang Pier.
At least in his first game with the Batang Pier as a pro.
Bolick, the No. 3 pick overall in the recent PBA Draft, lived up to his high billing by scoring a team-high 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting to lead NorthPort to a smashing 117-91 win over Blackwater in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The shooting guard out of NCAA champion San Beda struck hardest in the first six minutes of the game by scoring 10 points.
Bolick also had three rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes.
“It’s a total team effort. The players did their share,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio after the game.
“We’re making our shots. Pati ‘yung decision-making, maganda. We;re complementing each other. We’ re running. Yan talaga ang basketball namin.” As expected, Jarencio reserved his nicest words to Bolick.
“Nag compliment si Bolick sa team. Made na made na yung bata. He’s a winner, very coachable, nakikinig talaga” added Jarencio.
Based on PBA records, Bolick’s output was the most scored by a rookie in his first game since Sol Mercado cam away with 29 points for Rain or Shine during the 2009 Philippine Cup.
Paolo Taha provided able support to Bolick with with 21 points six rebounds and three assists for the Batang Pier, who led by as many as 29 points, 111-82, in the fourth quarter.
Sean Anthony added 19 points, Stanley Pringle contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Bradwyn Guinto had 12 points and Mo Tautuaa had 11 points in the Batang Pier’s strong start in this prestigious tournament.
Blackwater rookie Abu Tratter also had a rousing debut as he finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort by the Elite.
Roi Sumang added 16 markers.
Actually, Blackwater took control of the game and established a 12-point lead, 40-28, early in the second period.
But the Batang Pier came charging back behind the hot hands of Anthony and Pringle, as they outscored the Elite, 27-7, the rest of the way to completely turn the game around, 55-48, at halftime.
The Batang Pier never looked back from there.
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.