|The Robert Bolick-led NorthPort lineup right now could be the franchise's best yet. PBA Images|
MANILA--Two games into the PBA Philippine Cup, Robert Bolick thinks he might have just seen NorthPort's best lineup yet.
With him, last season's Mythical Second Team member and Most Valuable Player contender, leading the way and joined by last season's Rookie of the Year contender Jamie Malonzo, promising freshman JM Calma, and an Arwind Santos playing as if he is still in his prime at age 41 among others, Bolick conjectured that the Batang Pier this season are too stacked enough unlike before.
"I think ito yung pinakamagandang team. Wala kaming problema as a team. Wala kaming issues. Pag pumupunta kami sa practice, napakaganda ng practice namin parati," Bolick said on Saturday night.
Despite not having a legitimate center on the team with Malonzo, the tallest at six-feet-seven, being a small forward and Calma, the second tallest at six-feet-six, playing as a power forward, NorthPort's "small ball" roster is working wonders so far, beating Rain Or Shine and Terrafirma in a two-games-in-three-nights span.
"Akala nila kasi, maliliit kami, pero ang mga puso nung mga players namin dito, malakas," continued Bolick, who flirted with a triple-double in the Batang Pier's Saturday win against the Dyip at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
He even praised Calma for holding his own against Terrafirma's bruisers like Joseph Gabayni and Eric Camson.
"Kita mo naman yung rookie namin, lumalaban," Bolick further said.
For Coach Pido Jarencio, seeing a positive outlook among his team in training is a delighting sight.
"Kailangan yung team, ganun, yung nage-enjoy lahat, alam kung ano ang magiging roles ng bawat isa, and then everybody is doing their share. Yun ang maganda sa team na ito. Medyo undersized tayo, pero lahat nagtutulungan. Mahirap talunin yung ganun, lalo pagka buo yung team," Jarencio said. "Naririnig nyo pa ba akong nagsisigaw doon? Wala na. Relax-relax na lang kasi alam na nila ang mga gagawin nila."
He added, "Ito ang pinaka-exciting na team na nahawakan ko in my eight years sa NorthPort."
How deep will this NorthPort team go in the PBA Philippine Cup? We'll just find out as the days go on or maybe as soon as after they face their first acid test against Magnolia on Wednesday.
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