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PBA: Robert Bolick takes center stage as NLEX ends Blackwater’s perfect run

March 14 ------ NLEX dealt Blackwater its first loss, 103-97, to further its own streak in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. Tony Semerad and Robert Bolick came through with the killer threes down the stretch as the Road Warriors made the Bossing, particularly Rey Suerte, pay dearly for missing crucial free throws that could’ve swung the game differently. “Dalawa ‘yung defensive lapses ko sa dulo, buti na lang nabawi ko sa three-points. Kung hindi, patay ako,” said Bolick, who was named the PBA Press Corps-Pilipinas Live Player of the Week for the period March 6-10. 


Bolick flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists for the MVP ball club, now the winners of three straight (4-1). Jhan Nermal supplied 16 points and seven rebounds. Fellow rookie Dominic Fajardo provided a huge spark with a season-high 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, alongside four rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block. Robbie Herndon also made 14 points with 10 rebounds. Baser Amer had 12 points while Semerad chipped in 11, spiked by a pair of treys. “Talagang team effort. Ang sarap sa feeling na lahat kami nag-contribute para manalo,” said Bolick. “Nagtulungan talaga kami.” 


NLEX pulled off the win without head coach Frankie Lim, who was out due to a finger injury. Lead assistant Jong Uichico called the shots. The Road Warriors will head into a lengthy break and won’t be back in action until April 6 against Magnolia at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.  Suerte, on the other hand, had 21 points and seven rebounds for Blackwater, who saw the bitter end of its unbeaten three-game winning streak. Suerte missed a total of four free throws inside the final 1:44 of the match that could have made the difference in the tight ball game. Troy Rosario and Rey Nambatac had 16 points apiece. Jaydee Tungcab made 15 points while Bradwyn Guinto added 12 points and nine rebounds. 


The Bossing will have the chance to bounce back quickly against Terrafirma on Saturday, March 16, in the PBA’s return to the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. 


The Scores: 

NLEX 103 – Bolick 21, Nermal 16, Herndon 14, Fajardo 14, Amer 12, Semerad 11, Rodger 9, Marcelo 4, Valdez 2, Miranda 0, Pascual 0. 

Blackwater 97 – Suerte 21, Rosario 16, Nambatac 16, Tungcab 15, Guinto 12, Ilagan 8, David 4, Yap 3, Escoto 2, Sena 0, Hill 0, Kwekuteye 0, Jopia 0. 

Quarterscores: 22-26, 50-51, 71-72, 103-97. 



Editor's Note: 

Phoenix sent Terrafirma skidding all of a sudden, 94-78, in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup. RR Garcia came through with an all-around performance of 20 points, six rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists without a turnover to lead Phoenix. Garcia scored 16 of his points in the second half, half of which he made in the fourth as he helped his side wrest control of the game early before sparking a 12-0 run toward a 92-78 lead with 1:24 left for the strong finish. Javi Gomez de Liano, on the other hand, finished with 19 points and five rebounds to lead the Dyip, which have now dropped their second successive outing after a promising 2-0 start into the season-ending tournament. The Dyip (2-2) will try to get back on track against the 3-1 Blackwater on Saturday, March 16, 3 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. 


The Scores: 

Phoenix 94 – Garcia 20, Perkins 18, Tuffin 17, Muyang 13, Daves 8, Mocon 8, Jazul 7, Rivero 3, Manganti 0, Alejandro 0, Verano 0. 

Terrafirma 78 – Gomez de Liano 19, Tiongson 16, Camson 10, Alolino 8, Sangalang 8, Go 4, Carino 4, Mina 3, Ramos 2, Olivario 2, Calvo 2, Cahilig 0. 

Quarterscores: 19-16, 39-44, 64-64, 94-78. 



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