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THE CALL THAT CHANGED HIS DESTINY | Bolick shares how Jarin reached him out

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By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--At the end of the 2014 UAAP Final Four series between La Salle and FEU, Robert Bolick was seen in tears while singing La Salle's alma mater song after his team, which was the champion the year before, was dethroned on a buzzer-beating triple by Mac Belo, which once again made rounds on social media recently.

Turned out, it was Bolick's last stand as a Green Archer.

Fast forward to Thursday night at the Mall of Asia Arena. Bolick was once again seen in tears, but this time, they were tears of joy.

The 6-foot-1 shooting guard has shown tremendous improvement, making a huge leap to an upcoming San Beda King Red Lion waiting to roar.

The said rise was epitomized in the NCAA playoffs, waxing hot in the first half of the three games San Beda played so far and eventually delivering the knockout punch in Game 1 of the finals against Arellano, scoring the eventual game-winning basket.

He then relayed to the media after the win that during the time he got emotional, he remembered a call he got way early in the morning that altered the course of his college basketball career.

"May tumawag sa akin nang alas-singko ng umaga. Sabi ko, 'Sino ba ang tatawag nang alas-singko ng umaga?' Di ko sinagot. Tawag pa rin siya nang tawag, so sinagot ko na lang. [Si Coach Jamike Jarin] pala. Sabi niya, 'Baka kailangan mo ng team. Gustong-gusto kita dito.' Nag-try ako," Bolick shared to the reporters.

Jarin confirmed what Bolick said.

"When I found out that he was looking for a school, in my heart, I wanted him, because even though he wasn't playing much when he was in La Salle, I really saw what he can do. I can see his heart--the warrior in him. That's why I got him," the Red Lions gaffer explained the "wake-up call" to Bolick.

From a seldom-used player in La Salle, Bolick has become a vital cog for San Beda alongside fellow former Archer Dan Sara, versatile swingman Javee Mocon, and explosive rookie winger Davon Potts.

"Sobrang saya ko kasi tinanggap nila ako kahit bench player lang ako sa La Salle, tapos ganito ang nangyayari sa akin.... Di ko matatanggap itong achievement na ito ngayon kung wala [ang buong team]," Bolick reacted.

On how he successfully made the transition, he answered, "Siguro yung hard work lang then tulong sa captain namin at kay Coach. Then yung ibang players nagtiwala.... Grabe yung binigay sa akin na kumpiyansa."

Bolick then elaborated to Dugout Philippines in a separate interview how he works hard to improve on his game.

"[I and the ball boys] stay up [after practice]. Sinasabihan ko sila, 'I have to shoot more.' Lahat ng na-achieve ko, it's because of them kasi tinutulungan din nila ako," Bolick revealed.

Despite the 24-point performance, Bolick said that his job is not yet over.

"I'm still focused [on the finals]," he reiterated.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno