NorthPort star Robert Bolick may have engaged Myles Powell in a fiery offensive duel but he made sure to tip his hats off to the Bay Area import, who drilled a tough step-back trey at the buzzer to help the Dragons escape with a pulsating 105-104 victory on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Bolick who dropped 33 points to spearhead an upset-conscious Batang Pier, went to the Bay Area’s post-game presser and personally congratulated Powell who, on the other hand, followed up his 41-point debut with 37 points including the game-winning triple.
“Ganun naman talaga basketball ‘to eh last game ako yung nakashoot si (Javee) Mocon naman lumapit sa akin. Ganun talaga eh kahit san ka naglalaro alam nila player ka, away kayo sa loob, (pero sa labas), props na lang kasi ang hirap ng tira niya, nashoot,” said Bolick.
Bolick though played down his offensive explosion and he didn’t hide that there was an extra motivation for him to perform well against the caliber of Powell, who once played in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Kailangan mo lang ipakita na di ka rin takot. Di naman kinakatakutan yung mga ganun basketball lang ito eh di naman kami magpapatayan dun,” said Bolick.
“Ito naman yung mga gusto ko talaga, yung bang World Cup ibang klase mga kalaban namin two time MVP na nga si (Nikola) Jokic di ba? “Yun yung maganda sa basketball kapag nakalaban ka ng ganung klaseng player makikita mo kung saan ka na ba as a player. Kaya mo na bang makipag compete sa mga ganung level kasi si Powell NBA player rin yun diba?,” Bolick explained.
Bolick indeed strut his wares and dissected Bay Area defense with an array of offensive moves, slashing through the basket and drilling long bombs – the last of which allowed the Batang Pier to come within two, 97-95.
NorthPort actually put itself in position to win the game after back-to-back layups from Bolick and Roi Sumang that gave the Batang Pier the lead 104-102 with 1:09 to go.
They even had the chance to put the game to rest after a couple of chances in the waning seconds but just couldn’t nail the dagger as Powell came away with the last laugh with the buzzer-beating three-pointer.
“At least pag uwi ko nasabi ko nakipag toe-to-toe ako sa isang NBA player. Ngayon, isushow ko siya ng respect pero sa loob wala na yan, brotherhood kasi ang basketball. Sa labas makipag usap ka pero sa loob kailangan pakita mo na ‘oo nga may narating ka rin pero basketball pa rin ito eh’,” said Bolick.
“Gusto ko ipakita na may level pang kayang patunayan kasi ilang years lang ako sa basketball ngayon bata pa ako makikita ko kung nasan na ba ako pwede na ba ako makipag compete.”