June 26, 2024

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Robert Bolick sparks NLEX’s win vs Blackwater in PBA Commissioner’s Cup

3 min read

Robert Bolick orchestrated NLEX’s triumphant return to the win column, propelling the Road Warriors past Blackwater, 104-97, in a crucial clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, December 22, 2023. 

Bolick’s near-triple double performance, featuring 30 points, eight rebounds, 15 assists, and four steals, proved instrumental in snapping NLEX’s four-game losing streak and keeping their quarterfinals aspirations alive.

Bolick’s offensive explosion marked a significant milestone, registering the highest point total by an NLEX local since Don Trollano’s 44-point outburst in the previous season’s Governors Cup. After a brief stint in Japan, the former NorthPort guard traded to NLEX, acknowledged the support of the coaching staff and teammates in helping him find his rhythm.

Bolick,  who rebounded from a modest nine-point and four-assist debut with NLEX, said it was not all his efforts, giving credit to his coaches, whom he said put him in good situations. He also attributed the win to his teammates who came ready to play. 

The victory was particularly sweet for the Road Warriors, who had faced setbacks in previous games. 

Bolick emphasized the importance of the win, stating that they have been disappointed several times, “so we can’t afford to be disappointed again to have a good Christmas.”

Coach Frankie Lim lauded his team’s response to the must-win situation, recognizing the significance of the momentum heading into their last two elimination games against Converge on January 10 and a showdown with Barangay Ginebra three days later.

While NLEX celebrated their resurgence, the same couldn’t be said for Blackwater, which suffered its eighth consecutive defeat since an opening-day victory that now leaves them as the first team eliminated from contention.

Despite Blackwater’s resilient efforts, narrowing the gap to 97-100 with a strong drive by Archie Concepcion, their hopes were dashed as crucial turnovers in the final possessions proved costly. Bolick sealed the deal for NLEX with two free throws and a breakaway layup in the last 13 seconds, securing the much-needed victory and injecting hope into their quarterfinal bid.

As the PBA Commissioner’s Cup continues, NLEX aims to build on this momentum and make a strong push for a quarterfinals berth, while Blackwater faces a challenging road ahead, hoping to salvage pride in their remaining games against NorthPort and San Miguel Beer.

The scores:

NLEX 104 – Bolick 30, Chaffee 20, Nermal 16, Ganuelas-Rosser 12, Valdez 11, Semerad 5, Anthony 4, Rodger 3, Miranda 3, Herndon 0.

Blackwater 97 – Ortiz 27, David 17, Ilagan 16, DiGregorio 12, Suerte 7, Concepcion 6, Rosario 5, Amer 4, Hill 2, Ular 1, Escoto 0, Kwukuteye 0, Guinto 0.

Quarters: 27-26, 52-51, 77-79, 104-97.

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