PBA: Bolick’s clutch work uplifts NLEX maintained in a 31-point which causes heartache for Northport

Mar 2, 2024

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In a thrilling PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup debut on Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, NLEX defeated NorthPort 107-100 in overtime.

With 1:27 remaining, Robert Bolick broke the 100-all tie with a free throw, and the Road Warriors, who had trailed by two points late in regulation, were eventually rescued by baskets from Dave Marcelo and Tony Semerad.

Bolick led the greeting committee to new teammates Baser Amer and Ato Ular, finishing with 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

In the triumph that propelled NLEX into the winners’ circle alongside Blackwater, TNT, and Terrafirma, rookie Enoch Valdez nearly recorded a double-double with 16 points, nine rebounds, and three steals.

Sean Anthony and Semerad combined for 15 points and 9 rebounds, while every player on the court—aside from one—scored at least two points.

After forcing overtime, the standout winger helped his team overcome a 97-93 deficit with 31.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. However, in the extra time, he was unable to regain his previous form as NLEX easily won by seven points.

In the defeat that marred both rookie forward Zav Lucero’s PBA debut and William Navarro’s comeback, Allyn Bulanadi scored 19 points.
Still, it was a creditable performance from the youthful guns. Six of the team’s eleven blocks came from the combination of Lucero, who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Navarro, who finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

In Bolick’s first game back against the Batang Pier, after being moved to the Road Warriors in December, the star guard finished with a game-high 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists, but he swore he was only there to win.

Nevertheless, he was happy to see his old friends again and even praised how big of a roster they now had with Zav Lucero making his debut and William Navarro returning. From their ACL injuries, both forwards are fully recovered.

Naturally, though, the present is what matters, and the six-year veteran was pleased with the perseverance his team displayed to overcome adversity.

After NLEX built a 97-93 lead late in the fourth quarter, Bolick made the game-winning free throws to send the game into overtime, where Dave Marcelo and Tony Semerad scored baskets that put the game away.

The Scores

NLEX 107 – Bolick 31, Valdez 16, Anthony 15, Semerad 15, Pascual 9, Ular 6, Nieto 5, Marcelo 4, Miranda 3, Amer 2, Nermal 0.

Northport 100 – Tolentino 29, Bulanadi 19, Lucero 13, Navarro 12, Munzon 8, Zamar 6, Calma 4, Flores 4, Rosales 2, Chan 2, Paraiso 1, Cuntapay 0, Yu 0.

Quarter scores: 29-25, 55-50, 74-72, 98-98, 107-100.

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