It’s tough when your girlfriend is watching your game. It’s tougher when your girlfriend is a multi-time champion
Robert Bolick had a very special guest during Game Three of the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals that pit the Cignal-San Beda HD Spikers against the Racal Tile Masters, Thursday evening. Bolick’s long-time girlfriend and two-time PSL champion Abigail Maraño was sitting in the stands, intensely watching the winner-take-all affair.
Maraño herself has been part of numerous winner-take-all affairs both in her collegiate and professional volleyball career. On the other hand, in Bolick’s short stay in San Beda College, he has experienced a do-or-die game, but not a game with everything at stake.
Bolick’s unfamiliarity in this type of moments showed in the first 20 minutes of the game as he was limited to just four points during the half. Moreover, the HD Hawkeyes were facing a 35-43 deficit.
“Siyempre, she won a couple of championships. Kaya nga ako naka-shoot ng three points kasi nung first half, pinuntahan niya ako, nagalit pa,” Bolick recalled about one particular instance in the first quarter that drew the ire of the 24-year-old Maraño.
“Di ko siya pinagalitan,” the former De La Salle University Lady Spikers begged to differ. “Kasi nanggigigil na ako dun sa puwesto ko dun sa taas. Di ako maka-focus, ang ingay nga, di ako mapakali, gusto ko may sasabihin ako sa kanya.
“Nakikita ko kasi first half, hindi yun yung championship na larong inaasahan ko from him.”
During the halftime break, the multi-time best middle blocker left her seat in the press row and went to the dugout. Once Bolick went out of the locker room, the incoming San Beda senior received some choice words from Maraño.
“Sabi ko, okay, sige sige, I’ll play like a champion. Eventually, naging malaking bagay [yun] talaga sa akin. Inspiration din,” the native of Ormoc City added.
And the numbers showed how this pep talk had helped Bolick and the HD Hawkeyes the rest of the way. The 22-year-old combo guard finished the game with 14 points, four rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks while helping stop Racal’s Kent Salado and Rey Nambatac.
The PBA D-League crown is another trophy in Bolick’s growing list of accolades. Everyone had doubted him when he left La Salle three years ago, but it was Maraño, a two-time UAAP MVP, who became his rock.
“Hindi ako nag-doubt. Naniwala ako sa kanya kasi sinubaybayan ko laro niya e. Although di ko nakita yung laro ng ibang players, pero nakita ko yung effort niya, defense, assist, rebound, pumupuntos din siya,” she shared. “Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanyang kung alam mong di maganda yung laro mo sa isang bagay, alam mo kung saan kelangan bumawi.
“Ganun kasi yung relationship namin, we critique each other, para kaming coach ng isa’t isa.”
And Bolick is grateful for the complete career turnaround he is experiencing right now.
“May kasama kang MVP, may kasama kang leader, beast-mode maglaro, natutulungan niya ako,” Bolick added.
“Credit to her. Sinasabi ko nga, ‘lahat ng na-achieve ko, kalahati nun, sa teammates, sa family, kay Aby.'”