Japan B. League

Bolick eyed to revive Fukushima’s floundering fortunes

Philip Matel

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Bolick eyed to revive Fukushima’s floundering fortunes

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As the latest Filipino basketball star to take his act to Japan, Robert Bolick joins a Fukushima team looking to rise in Division 2

MANILA, Philippines – With Robert Bolick transferring to the Japan B. League Division 2 on Monday, May 15, it is the latest instance of club teams leaning on Filipinos to help turn around their fortunes.

Bolick, a talented scoring point guard known for his penchant to make the occasional highlight play, will head to the Fukushima Firebonds as its Asian Player Quota import.

He follows the footsteps of numerous Pinoy cagers, which was pioneered by Thirdy Ravena, who plays for a non-contending but Division 1 B. League team.

Fukushima floundered in the second-tier division, having placed seventh in the 14-team tournament, with a 28-32 record.

Bolick joins a team that features former NBA draft picks Josh Harrelson and Erik Murphy, two big men with years’ worth of international experience.

In his final season for the NorthPort Batang Pier, the team that drafted Bolick third overall in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, he averaged 20.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.

NorthPort went into the 2022-2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs as the sixth seed, falling to eventual champions Barangay Ginebra via a first-round sweep.

The team is expected to take advantage of Bolick’s scoring ability as a three-level scorer, who could score inside, in the midrange, and from the outside.

As a floor general, the team could lean on his passing ability, especially running the pick-and-roll game.

For Bolick, aside from the allure of a lucrative stint, what hinges here is adding a new dimension of the international flavor of the game.

He is reportedly expected to earn around $30,000 a month (around P1.69 million) in his first season, then will rise to $40,000 (P2.24 million)

Bonuses included, his overall contract is expected to net him an estimated $700,000 to $1,000,000 (P39.2 million to P56 million). – Rappler.com

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