Robert Bolick hinted at the possibility of returning to the Philippine Basketball Association after parting ways with his Japanese club — the Fukushima Firebonds
But his fate in the local professional league lies in the hands of his former team, NorthPort.
Bolick’s agent, Marvin Espiritu, told Daily Tribune that the 28-year-old playmaker is keeping his options open and has yet to decide his next course of action following his departure from the Japanese B. League.
Espiritu said it all depends on the Batang Pier since they still hold his rights after being taken with the third pick in the 2018 Rookie Draft.
“There is no definite decision yet but if (he’s going to return to the) PBA, the first point of contact is NorthPort since the team holds his right,” Espiritu said in an online exchange.
Daily Tribune tried to reach out to NorthPort head coach Bonnie Tan and team executives Erick Arejola and Pido Jarencio but they have yet to respond at press time.
Over the past few years, the Batang Pier always ended up losing some young talents like Christian Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo and Troy Rike.
Standhardinger and Malonzo eventually landed at Barangay Ginebra San Miguel while Rike never returned after taking a leave of absence prior to the Philippine Cup last year.
Bolick, however, managed to stay at NorthPort, where he had some flashes of brilliance that even led to a stint in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019.
But upon the expiration of his one-year contract, he packed his bags to join the exodus of quality Filipino talents in the Japanese pro league.
Now, with his wife having a difficult pregnancy, Bolick decided to come home and could either see action for the Batang Pier or be shipped elsewhere.
Should he stay at NorthPort, he will serve as a leader to a young crop of talents like fifth overall pick Zavier Lucero, Cade Flores, Brent Paraiso and Fran Yu.
NorthPort will also have returning forward Wiliam Navarro, who just recovered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury that he suffered last season.