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Robert Bolick drops 31 on former team as NLEX edges NorthPort in OT thriller

Robert Bolick spoiled Zav Lucero's PBA debut by dropping 31 against his former team. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Robert Bolick came alive in his first PBA game against his former team as NLEX opened its Philippine Cup campaign with a 107-100 overtime win against NorthPort on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Bolick finished with 31 points, but more importantly, he sparked the game-ending 7-0 run by the Road Warriors to pull away from the Batang Pier.

Bolick got a quick breakthrough off a timeout as Joshua Munzon fouled him while readying to guard him with 1:27 left, and Bolick hit two free throws that broke the game's last deadlock at 100-all.

Zav Lucero, having a solid PBA debut, made a crucial error as his inbound pass to Paul Zamar went out of bounds.

The turnover led to Dave Marcelo's crucial layup for a 104-100 cushion with Lucero fouling him in the process, although Marcelo missed the bonus free throw.

Arvin Tolentino hurried a three-point attempt that did not even hit the rim, and even Allyn Bulanadi grabbed the offensive rebound, Enoch Valdez stole the ball from him, leading to an Anthony Semerad layup that essentially iced the game for a 106-100 lead.

Tolentino air-balled another three-pointer, and Bolick hit a split from the free throw line for the final count.

Bolick also tallied five rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block as he helped give NLEX a win as a belated birthday present to head coach Frankie Lim.

Valdez added 16 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and three steals.

Tolentino finished with 29 points, 16 in the fourth quarter, seven rebounds, two assists, and three blocks to lead NorthPort, but he was held scoreless in overtime.

Lucero's much-awaited PBA debut after a 15-month recovery from an ACL injury dating back to UAAP Season 85 ended in a 13-point, eight-rebound, and four-block performance.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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