In the ultimate possession in the recently-concluded 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament, San Beda College put its fate in the hands of Robert Bolick.
After all, who better to decide the fate of the Red Lions than the new King Lion.
As head coach Boyet Fernandez put it then, “In the end, we will live and die with Bolick.”
At the end of the preseason, the NCAA champions lived – and became only the third team to sweep the entire tournament.
However, Bolick made it clear that he’s no go-to-guy. “Masaya akong sinasabi nila yun, pero ‘di ko pinapaabot sa utak ko. Sa isip ko, role player pa rin ako and I just want to give yung kaya kong ibigay sa team,” he said.
He then continued, “Sinasabi ko rin sa teammates ko, walang go-to-guy rito. If you have the shot, take it. Kung tingin niyo, makabubuti sa team, do it.”
If he is to be believed, the 20-year-old is not the featured player, the feature is the system of Fernandez itself. “I don’t look at myself as ganoon. I’m just playing in the system of coach Boyet,” he expressed.
And whatever happens, that system prioritizes defense first and foremost – just like Bolick himself. “Ang pride ko, depensa talaga. Kaya kami ni coach Boyet, nagkakaintindihan e kasi ma-pride kami pareho sa depensa,” he said.
Indeed, the new King Lion and the returning head coach have shared a bond long before they got together. “I saw Robert when he played in the Finals against Arellano (last year) and I told him I really liked his defense,” Fernandez shared.
He then continued, “I told him, ‘If you can stop Jalalon then you can stop anyone.’”
In the championship round a year ago, Bolick slowed down Jiovani Jalalon – the same guy who is set to quarterback the Philippine national team – to only, for his standards, 20 points and 7.5 assists. All of that, the latter hard to work hard for against the former.
Jalalon’s numbers against Bolick were even worse in the eliminations as he only normed 17.6 points in dismal 28 percent shooting, 5.6 assists, and three turnovers.
“You know me as a defensive coach. I really love that guy,” Fernandez expressed.
Without a doubt, the Ormoc, Leyte native was, and always will be, a defensive specialist.
Now he has also revealed the other side of him, however, he has also shown he is, most probably, the most complete player in college right now. “We tried to develop his offense, but hindi mo na kailangang turuan e. Ang galing na rin (sa opensa) e,” Fernandez said.
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