MANILA, Philippines—More than anything, Robert Bolick said his move to the Japanese B.League was all due to his pursuit of international experience.
Bolick admitted that his move from the PBA to another professional league overseas to play for the Fukushima Firebonds was bred from his curiosity about whether his game could “translate to Japan.”
“To be honest, it’s just because of the experience. PBA and B.League are different and I just want to try and see if my game can translate to Japan and just try out something new,” the sharpshooter said in an online press conference on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t really about money or anything, it’s just because I want to try something new. I want to see if I can come in and play in a different culture so by the end of my career, I can be like ‘Okay, I’ve been an import in Japan.’ You don’t know what the league’s going to be in 10 years and that’s just my main thing.”
In last year’s PBA Governors’ Cup, Bolick missed the first games of Northport Batang Pier which cost them in the long run. They finished with a 3-8 record to miss the playoffs.
When Bolick did suit up for the Batang Pier in the season-ending conference, he posted averages of 21.6 points. 5.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.0 steals per game.
The San Beda product was expected to work out a new deal with Northport but he ended up signing with Fukushima last May.
What he can bring to the Firebonds, he said, was his experience in playing the two-guard position at the international level.
“On the court, I’m just like the most experienced guard here, playing in the World Cup and internationally so I just want to be a helping hand, give them what I learned from my seniors when I was a rookie back in the Philippines,” he said.
It will not be easy for Bolick, as Fukushima is a B2 division team in the B.League which means a road to the league’s title will be long and arduous.
Bolick, however, said that Fukushima being in B2 was also one of the reasons why he decided to sign with the Firebonds.
“That was one of the reasons why I wanted to go to B2. In B1, you win a championship but here it’s going to the next step. You don’t just win a championship, you also get a promotion going up against B1.”
“That was one of the exciting parts of joining this team, to help them come to B1. That’s something you won’t forget for the rest of your life and I just wanted to take the chance.”