Home Sports Bolick completes five-point play as Team Mark forges third All-Star tie

Bolick completes five-point play as Team Mark forges third All-Star tie

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Robert Bolick (right) provides a memorable ending to what turned out to be an all-star classic. —PBA IMAGES

Robert Bolick (right) provides a memorable ending to what turned out to be an all-star classic. —PBA IMAGES

BACOLOD CITY—Robert Bolick’s incredible five-point play that allowed Team Mark to hold Team Japeth to a 140-all tie in Sunday’s PBA All-Star Game will no doubt be one of the most memorable moments of the exhibition classic.

And while Bolick, who shared Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors with Japeth Aguilar, doesn’t consider the manner of how the result came out as a sort of pseudo-victory, he agrees that it’s a stinging takeaway for the other side as the PBA contingent flies back to Manila.

“They’ll feel worse coming home,” said Bolick, whose shot off a Calvin Oftana foul with 17.8 seconds left completed Team Mark’s escape act after being down early before a packed crowd at University of St. La Salle Coliseum.

Oftana couldn’t redeem himself on the ensuing play, missing a potential winning layup before time expired as the third tie in the history of the event was sealed.

The outcome, despite some clamors from fans, remained as the league opted against replicating what transpired in the 2008 edition that was also held in this city when the only overtime game in All-Star history was played.

“It leaves us a bit of a sour taste in our mouths because we had the lead for the whole game,” said Team Japeth’s losing coach Tim Cone. “But the bottom line is that this is for the fans. It was a beautiful game for the fans.”

The game already looked lost for Bolick and the team captained by Mark Barroca, especially with Team Japeth holding 140-131 lead with less than a minute to go.

But Team Japeth committed three turnovers down the stretch, with Bolick knocking down a shot from the special four-point line, which measures about 27 feet and was implemented for the second straight year in the All-Star affair.

Bolick even attempted another four-pointer that hit the front rim and resulted in a turnover, with possession going to Team Japeth and a win appearing to be a mere formality.

Team Mark coach Jorge Gallent, however, opted to insert players known to excel in pressuring the ball. The ploy worked as CJ Perez deflected RR Pogoy’s pass from midcourt that led to a steal from Cliff Hodge and Bolick’s incredible shot.

“I really played a bad game,” said Bolick, lamenting on his misses not only in this game but also last year in Passi City, Iloilo, where he muffed one of multiple four-point attempts aimed at salvaging a tie.



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Bolick was allowed by Aguilar, an MVP winner in the 2019 game in Calasiao, Pangasinan, to take home the trophy. But the NLEX star felt the award should be given to someone else. INQ





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