Robert Bolick made sure he won’t be denied for the second straight game.
Fresh from a career-high tying 33 points the last time out, the NorthPort star played through cramps in the fourth quarter and the overtime period as he reset his career-best scoring to 44 points to power NorthPort’s 20-point comeback and beat Meralco, 101-95, in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Bolick just stepped up and played the hero’s role anew for the Batang Pier, dropping a Herculean effort of 22 points in the final frame and in the extra period to help NorthPort save some blushes after absorbing a heart-breaker at the hands of Bay Area which won on the buzzer beating trey from Myles Powell in their last game.
The Batang Pier actually found themselves staring at a huge 20-point deficit, 67-47, early in the second half before Bolick, Arvin Tolentino and Arwind Santos hit their strides to anchor a 14-2 run that cut the lead to single digits, 69-61 late in the third frame.
It was a back-and-forth affair from there as Meralco, behind import Johnny O’Bryant tried to keep NorthPort at bay before Bolick went on a scoring spree scoring the last 17 points of NorthPort to force the overtime.
Bolick then picked up where he left off in the regulation, opening the overtime period with five straight points to put the Batang Pier ahead for good, 87-83.
A crucial steal from Roi Sumang which he converted on the other end and a booming triple from Santos off a kick out pass from Bolick provide to be the dagger to the heart of Meralco.
Bolick also added seven assists and six rebounds to cap the splendid game while import Prince Ibeh anchored the paint with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks. Santos churned in 15 points while Tolentino added 12.
O’Bryant was as good as advertised with 30 points and 22 rebounds while Raymond Almazan posted 17 points and seven rebounds but were not enough for the Bolts to avert the disaster in the waning minutes.