MANILA, Philippines–Robert Bolick scoffed at the notion that he has become indifferent to NorthPort amid speculations that he was set to ply his trade overseas.
Bolick made sure that his game left little room for doubt on Friday night, putting up 30 points and five rebounds in his first game back after a hamstring injury and a contract stalemate.
“It’s funny to hear all those speculations. I was just at home,” he told reporters in Filipino shortly after NorthPort’s 115-100 losing stand to Ginebra at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“You all know that I have a responsibility to this team. NorthPort drafted me (in 2018) and my rights are here. My heart is to play for them (organization) until my contract expires.”
Bolick recently signed a one-conference deal with the Batang Pier resolving a second impasse that initially fueled speculation that he would join other Filipinos playing in Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.
“It’s just that it happened when I’m about to expire. That’s how it is with contracts. Even in the NBA, or whichever league, job. Just because two sides talked, doesn’t mean everything’s well and good. There’s a series of talks. Our bosses here at NorthPort are busy [folk] and they have big businesses,” the 27-year-old guard shared.
‘MAY RESPONSIBILIDAD AKO DITO’WATCH: Robert Bolick, after returning to Northport in its game against Ginebra, addresses the “speculations” of him leaving the team to play elsewhere. | via Melo Fuertes, Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Friday, February 10, 2023
Bolick said that his camp and the NorthPort management felt that the best recourse was to revisit his stint after the conference to allow the spitfire guard to “focus on the season”—or what’s left of it.
“I’m happy here. We still have a season in spite of a 0-5 record. We’ve been here before and we turned it around,” he said. “We’re not going to give up just yet. We hope to give coach Bonnie (Tan) a proper season because he deserves it.”
Tan, for the longest time, was the club’s manager before he was elevated in place of Pido Jarencio, who recently reunited with the UST Growling Tigers.
“We just fell short this time,” Bolick said of the game against the defending champions, which at one point they controlled.
“We’re just hoping to be more fluid by the next game,” he went on. “Our import just arrived with one, or two practices under his belt. Over on the other side, they have Justin (Brownlee), and they’ve been together for quite some time.”
“We want to win. We don’t have any other mindset,” Bolick said. “We want to reach the quarters, the semis. Hopefully, the Finals. We’re allowed to dream, aren’t we? If you hope to stay long in this league, you have to have a vision. And hopefully, we can pull off something this conference.”
Bolick also went on to promise that after the season, his priority is to first touch base with NorthPort—and take it from there.
“My first responsibility is with this team. I will talk to NorthPort. We’ll talk about what’s best for me. I’m sure they’re also thinking the best for me,” he said.
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