Bolick fires 30 as NorthPort cruises past Blackwater

NorthPort continued its late push for a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup after adding more frustration on Blackwater with a 116-103 victory Wednesday, March 2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

(PBA Images)

Robert Bolick returned in style while import Jamel Artis and veteran Arwind Santos put up all-around performances as the Batang Pier raised their winning run to four games after starting the season-ending conference at 0-5.

The win enabled NorthPort to move into a tie for eighth place with idle Phoenix Super LPG with two games left in the eliminations.

“Everybody worked hard in getting four straight wins, ibig sabihin everybody is doing their share and everybody’s helping which means that it’s a total team effort,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio.

Bolick showed no signs of fatigue after suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers and fired 30 points spiked by six triples with 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Artis got some little rest after playing all 48 minutes in each of the last two games, posting 26 points, five rebounds and nine assists in almost 46 minutes while Santos had 21 points and 13 rebounds in another inspiring performance for the 40-year-old cager.

Rookie Jamie Malonzo, who was named Player of the Week by the PBA Press Corps, posted 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Jerrick Balanza and Paolo Taha stepped up anew with 10 and nine points.

Import Shawn Glover’s 47 points was enough to send Blackwater winless after nine games, thus extending its misery to 28 consecutive defeats since the 2020 Philippine Cup.

Blackwater has two games left in the eliminations, but its quest to avoid another winless campaign will come against perennial contenders TNT and Magnolia Pambansang Manok.

Bolick and Artis scored eight points apiece in the first quarter as the Batang Pier led 35-28.

Artis, Bolick and Balanza accounted for 25 of NorthPort’s 31 points in the second, outscoring Blackwater by six in the period to lead 66-44 at the break.

The scores:

NORTHPORT 116 — Bolick 30, Artis 26, Santos 21, Malonzo 16, Balanza 10, Taha 9, Rike 2, Doliguez 2, Ferrer 0.

BLACKWATER 103 — Glover 47, Desiderio 17, Casio 13, McCarthy 11, Paras 6, Amer 5, Melton 3, Ebona 1, Washington 0, Suerte 0, Escoto 0, Ayonayon 0, Baloria 0.

Quarters: 35-28, 66-54, 95-75, 116-103.