July 11, 2024

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Team Mark’s Robert Bolick’s 5-point forces 140-all draw with Team Japeth

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DRAW. Robot Bolick of Team Mark erupts with a five-point play to force a 140-all draw with Team Japeth in the packed PBA All-Star Game at the University of Saint La Salle gymnasium in Bacolod City on Sunday night, March 24, 2024. PBA PHOTO

Robert Bolick’s jaw-dropping five-point play propelled Team Mark to a thrilling 140-140 draw against Team Japeth in front of a raucous crowd at the University of Saint La Salle gymnasium in Bacolod City on Sunday night, March 24, 2024.

With just 17.8 seconds remaining on the clock and Team Mark trailing, Bolick seized the moment, sinking a clutch basket from the four-point area while drawing a foul from Calvin Oftana of Team Japeth. Undeterred by the pressure, Bolick calmly converted the ensuing free throw, knotting the score and sending the game into a deadlock.

Bolick’s heroics capped off an incredible comeback by Team Mark, who had trailed by as much as 32 points earlier in the game. His performance epitomized resilience and determination, showcasing his ability to thrive under pressure when his team needed him the most.

The draw marked the first time since 2017 that the All-Star game ended without a clear winner, reminiscent of the thrilling encounter between Gilas Pilipinas and the PBA Mindanao All-Stars during the 2017 edition of the extravaganza.

In recognition of the remarkable deadlock, the PBA Board announced that both teams would receive equal cash prizes of P150,000 each, acknowledging the exceptional efforts put forth by both squads.

Reflecting on his game-changing play, Bolick remained modest, attributing the outcome to the collective effort of his teammates and the unpredictable nature of basketball. Despite the odds stacked against them, Bolick and Team Mark refused to concede defeat, exemplifying the spirit of sportsmanship and resilience that defines the All-Star game.

Bolick’s co-MVP accolade alongside Japeth Aguilar underscored the significance of his contributions to Team Mark’s valiant effort. Bolstered by standout performances from CJ Perez, Marc Barroca, June Mar Fajardo, and rookie Ricci Rivero, Team Mark showcased their depth and determination, refusing to back down in the face of adversity.

On the opposing side, Team Japeth put up a formidable fight, with Roger Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, and Aguilar leading the charge. Despite falling short of victory, Team Japeth displayed grit and determination throughout the game, keeping fans on the edge of their seats until the final buzzer sounded.

In a curious twist of fate, the draw extended beyond the basketball court, as both Team Japeth and Team Mark were declared co-winners of the traditional dance contest preceding the All-Star game. The additional cash prize of P150,000 for each team added to the jubilant atmosphere, further highlighting the camaraderie and competitive spirit that permeated the weekend festivities.

The boxscores

Team Japeth 140 – Pogoy 25, Lassiter 24, Aguilar 21, Malonzo 17, Tolentino 13, Romeo 11, Lee 9, Newsome 7, Oftana 7, Trollano 2, Pringle 2, Dionisio 2, Ahanmisi 0.

Team Mark 140 – Perez 39, Barroca 20, Abueva 18, Fajardo 17, Rivero 15, Bolick 13, Perkins 9, Tiongson 3, Jalalon 2, Hodge 2, Sangalang 2, Norwood 0, Castro 0, Yap 0, Pinto 0.

Quarterscores: 46-20; 79-68; 111-104; 140-140.

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