NorthPort: Next man up as Robert Bolick joins Gilas prep

Photo from PBA

NorthPort is looking at finding ways to make up for the absence of Robert Bolick next week when he’s expected to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Management had given its blessing for Bolick to be part of the Gilas pool for the matches against South Korea (twice), India and New Zealand on Feb. 24 to 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum despite NorthPort having games slated during that calendar.

The Batang Pier are scheduled to face the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots on Feb. 24 and Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters on Feb. 26, both at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Coach Pido Jarencio tried to put NorthPort’s dilemma in jest by saying: “Siguro kukuha na lang kami ng ka-clone ni Robert.”

Bolick played a vital role in NorthPort’s breakthrough win in the PBA Governors’ Cup, posting 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in defeating Meralco, 109-98.

The rising star had just signed a new deal with NorthPort after the two parties couldn’t come to terms when Bolick’s contract ended last Jan. 31.

His new deal also came after being named to the Gilas pool, the only PBA player outside of TNT who is available for the upcoming window.

“Alam mo, it’s a call e. National duty yan e,” said Jarencio, who himself had represented the country as a player. “Talagang pag may tawag ang national team, hindi ka pwedeng humindi dyan kasi dala mo yung bansa.

“Bansa ang pinag-uusapan and management is also supporting Gilas,” he added.