PBA: NorthPort's Elorde vows to step up in Bolick's absence

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2019 10:04 PM

Nico Elorde of NorthPort attacks the Alaska defense. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- Nico Elorde accepted the responsibility following NorthPort's slim loss to Alaska last Sunday, and vowed to play better as the Batang Pier adjust to the absence of rookie ace Robert Bolick.

Bolick went down with a knee injury in their 127-119 win over San Miguel last week. In NorthPort's first game without him, the Batang Pier succumbed to Alaska, 106-99, to see their two-game winning streak come to an end.

"Sa game, ang kulang talaga namin is ball movement," noted Elorde, who had just one point and seven assists in 30 minutes of playing time. 

"Namamatay agad 'yung bola, tira kaagad. Kulang talaga sa ball movement. Dapat everybody involved," he added.

Instead, NorthPort became a two-man show. Import Michael Qualls took 32 shots, making 11 of them for a 35-point performance. Christian Standhardinger, in his second game with the team, had 37 points on 15-of-21 shooting.

But no other Batang Pier reached double-digits, and seeing only two players carry the load on offense did not sit well with Elorde.

"Sa akin 'yung responsibility na 'yun. Kaya nga down ako kasi parang ang pangit ng feeling na sila lang," he explained.

"As a point guard, dapat ma-figure out ko right away 'yun, during the game alam mo na," he added.

Still, Elorde acknowledged that it is a process, and he -- like the rest of the team -- has to figure out how to play without Bolick. The rookie point guard had been the anchor of their team's offense since he arrived, and in the Governors' Cup, Bolick averaged 12.86 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds per game before suffering the injury.

Elorde, who was his chief back-up, normed 5.88 points and 4.13 assists per game in 20 minutes. 

Those numbers are expected to rise, with Bolick sidelined.

"Kailangan mag-step up. Si Robert, malaking bagay talaga sa amin. Pero ganoon talaga, move on," said Elorde. 

"Siguro next game, mas maganda ang itatakbo namin," he also said. "Positive pa rin tayo."

NorthPort returns to action on Sunday against the Meralco Bolts. 

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