Mendoza: Bolick born to win

Al Mendoza.
Al Mendoza.Al Mendoza.

The All-Star clash in Bacolod last weekend was a game to remember if only for its eerie ending—and more.

Team Japeth (Aguilar) had been leading by huge double-digit leads almost game-long but still, it failed to dismiss Team Mark (Barroca).

Are 20-point margins meaningless in an exhibition match?

Team Mark looked doomed when it saw Team Japeth enjoying a 140-131 lead with under a minute left.

But then, look at this.

Team Japeth ran into three turnovers and, suddenly, the impossible became possible. If that’s not self-destruction, what is?

Robert Bolick, who was miserably missing shots earlier, came to life by burying a four — a shot from about 27 feet that was adopted for the second straight year if only to add more thrill to the PBA All-Star bash.

Bolick’s basket brought Team Mark to within 135-140 with inconsequential seconds remaining.

But in that triple-turnover twist from Team Japeth came yet another four-point try by Bolick that went awry, however, auguring well for a Team Mark loss happening 101 percent.

Uh-oh. You might be speaking too soon, fellas.

Jorge Gallent, the gallant San Miguel Beer coach tasked to handle Team Mark, called timeout and would next field guards with fresh legs to gang up on Tim Cone’s ball-carriers.

It worked.

CJ Perez, who was consistently on fire, clipped a piece of RR Pogoy’s pass from midcourt. Cliff Hodge completed the heist for Team Mark, leading to that improbable four from Bolick from left quartercourt that drew a foul from Calvin Oftana.

A supremely confident Bolick buried the foul shot for 140-all.

With 17.8 ticks left, Team Japeth had all day to score and secure victory. But Oftana bungled a tightly-challenged drive, with Bolick yet again grabbing the rebound and hurling the last shot with his two hands, the ball hitting the left board at the buzzer.

Commissioner Willy Marcial’s decision to ignore fans’ call to play an overtime a bit frustrated Bacolod bigwig Ramon Uy. But was I glad that Bolick was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) in a tie with Japeth Aguilar.

It has always been my unbending belief that a player that wins a game should be voted MVP outright — no matter if that winning shot is his only shot in the game.

Bolick’s five-point play was more than a winner — definitely.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.