Robert Bolick has never been about individual accolades.
From his humble beginnings as a bench player for the La Salle Green Archers until his rise to stardom with the San Beda Red Lions, Bolick has consumed with himself with winning championships above all else. Because he is focused on the team and not on personal goals, he has become a winner through and through.
The team-first player finally got the recognition he deserved when he was named the Player of the Year in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards on Thursday night at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.
Bolick was the catalyst in San Beda's title run during the 94th Season of the NCAA. He was the team's go-to-guy and unequivocal leader as they claimed their second straight championship. A ferocious competitor with a penchant for coming through in the clutch, the do-it-all point guard is a tireless athlete who constantly strives for greatness. But in Season 94, he was disqualified for a Mythical Team selection after being ejected in an elimination round game. In the finals, despite his incredible clutch performance against the Lyceum Pirates, his teammate Donald Tankoua came up with better stats to earn the finals MVP.
His astonishing season did not go unnoticed, however, as scribes from print and online media heralded him as the best of the best. Furthermore, Bolick became the first NCAA player to win the prestigious award. Winners of seasons' past include Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala of La Salle, Mac Belo of FEU, and Kiefer Ravena of Ateneo.
"This just means you all love me," Bolick joked with members of the press, before turning serious. "For me, the individual (award) is nothing. Even if I get thrown out next year I really don't care. I just want to win.
"All I think about is a championship. You can give them all the individual awards. All I want is a championship," he passionately added.
Bolick also came through in the clutch for the sportswriters of the annual awards. College basketball's best player fought through the pouring rain and a bum stomach just to attend the event which was supported by Chooks-to-Go, Cherrylume, and The Bayleaf Intramuros. To avoid traffic and flooded roads, he used a mobile app to book a ride on a motorcycle.
"You can give [the other players] all the individual awards. All I want is a championship." Robert Bolick
The two-time NCAA champion was simply grateful for the chance to be recognized by the press. He even received a reward of P15,000 from national team supporter Chooks-to-Go.
"If it weren't for you guys, we wouldn't get famous, Bolick said about the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps. "Credit to you guys."
Being true to himself, Bolick deflected his personal achievement to others. Just like has done throughout his collegiate career, he didn't think about himself.
Entering his third and final year with the Red Lions, he has his eyes set on winning another title.
"This is my last year. I want to win," he frankly said.
Robert Bolick has never been about earning individual accolades. Even after receiving college basketball's highest honor, he remains as hungry as ever to win a championship.