NorthPort Batang Pier star and Ormoc City-native Robert Bolick has been an underdog all his life, who shared that he once tried out for the high school basketball team of Cebu powerhouse Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu but unfortunately didn’t make the cut.
Since then, he has taken every ounce of rejection and doubt thrown his way and used it to fuel his burning desire to become “the greatest player to ever come out of Ormoc.”
Currently recovering from a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of his knee, the Gilas Pilipinas standout shared the secrets behind his unshakeable resolve during an appearance on the local webcast, The Panalay Show, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
“I think when you work hard, nobody can tell you that you can’t do it. I just dedicated myself to the craft, to the game. I studied the game a lot. I watched a lot film,” said Bolick, who chose to play for La Salle Greenhills in high school and then, De La Salle University in the UAAP in college. However, that was a forgettable stint as he barely got on the floor, leading him to transfer to San Beda in the NCAA.
In between, the 6-foot-1 combo guard even got an offer to play for Southwestern University-Phinma from then-head coach Yayoy Alcoseba here in the Cesafi. However, he chose to remain in Manila where he would eventually flourish at the Red Lions’ lair.
“I think the one that I always share with my ‘kababayans’ in Ormoc is that there will always be someone who will be faster than you, taller than you, stronger than you. There will be someone who doesn’t even practice but still plays well,” said Bolick. “I have accepted all those things but I can never accept anyone outworking me. I think that’s my greatest fuel. Other players may have attributes that are better than mine but nobody will ever outwork me. Because no matter what you have, if you work hard and you focus on your goal, you will be able to get it. You really have to just outwork your opponent and be smart.”
Bolick was eventually picked third overall in the 2018 PBA Draft by NorthPort and proceeded to prove naysayers wrong, scoring 26 points in his professional debut. He shared that people sometimes come up to him and remark how lucky he is to be in the position that he is in. However, he is quick to refute them.
“People come up to me and say ‘You’re very lucky. You have a lot of money. You have sponsorships. You’re a graduate from San Beda.’ But no, I tell them ‘you don’t know the road that I went through,’” Bolick expressed.
“I had to sacrifice time with my family and loved ones. I focused on my craft every day. I came in early and worked hard. That’s what people don’t see in social media,” said Bolick.
Before the show ended, Bolick took time to share the recipe to his success.
“This is something that I really want to share with everyone — Cebuano, Ilonggo, no matter where you are from — if you really love this game, you have to make sacrifices and dedicate yourself to the game. Tama na muna yang inom na yan. You can do that once champion ka na. But if you haven’t achieved your goal yet, there’s no time to celebrate.” (JNP)