ROBERT Bolick made sure his effort wouldn't go down the drain this time.
The rookie guard starred for Gilas Pilipinas anew as he connived with naturalized player Andray Blatche to turn back Ivory Coast anew, 73-63, in a fitting end to its campaign in the Torneo de Malaga early Sunday morning at the Pabellon Martin Carpena in Spain.
Bolick finished with a team-high 19 points, including 10 in the first half when he combined forces with the 6-foot-11 Blatche to set the tone of the match in favor of the nine-man Filipino crew.
Blatche added 18 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and three steals for the national team, which capped its 10-day training camp in Spain with a 3-1 record.
The Filipinos earlier swept their tune-up matches against Congo (102-80) and Ivory Coast (94-83) in Guadalajara, and were looking for a chance meeting with Spain in the four-country pocket tournament in the city of Malaga.
Unfortunately, the team fell ambush to Congo, 82-71, that relegated it to a consolation game against Ivory Coast at the end of the two-day mini-tournament.
Bolick had 21 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range in a losing cause for the Filipinos.
The Filipinos lost no time to jump the gun on Ivory Coast as Bolick and Blatche sparked a 12-5 run just before the halftime break to give Gilas a 36-25 advantage.
The Philippine side had its biggest lead at 50-38 with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Japeth Aguilar and Paul Lee added nine each for Gilas Pilipinas, which again played with just a nine-man rotation as Gabe Norwood continues to recover from the mild groin strain he suffered in the first game against Congo.
The Gilas Pilipinas delegation is expected to return home on Tuesday. (RG)