Red Warriors ride red-hot Batiller in upset of Bulldogs
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 12, 2015 07:09 PM
INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Rookie Edson Batiller is proving to be UE's main man through two games in the season.
It’s very easy to discount a University of the East side chockfull with rookies and sophomores in the UAAP 78 Men’s Basketball Tournament, but up against the defending champions, the youngsters emphatically exclaimed to the rest of the league that they better not.
In only his second game in the biggest and most prestigious collegiate league, Edson Batiller caught fire in a massive third quarter blast that pushed the Red Warriors to a 76-71 upset of the National University Bulldogs on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
UE blasted off to a hot 8-0 start and held the advantage until the Bulldogs went on a 10-0 tear to grab a 37-32 halftime edge. Coming out of the dugout, General Santos City native Batiller waxed hot for 14 points to front a 28-9 third period that reclaimed the lead for the Warriors, 60-46.
The defending champions clamped down to start the final frame and did not surrender any makes while scoring 12 unanswered points to get to 60-58. Renz Palma finally broke the silence for UE, but Gelo Alolino countered with a booming triple to close NU to 61-62 at the midway mark of the fourth.
That was the nearest the Bulldogs would come as the Warriors uncorked a 10-3 burst that ballooned their lead to 72-64 inside the last two minutes. The young legs of coach Derrick Pumaren’s boys proved to be a major factor in their first win in two games as they forced 31 turnovers and quickly converted them into 25 points.
Batiller finished with 23 points while Edgar Charcos and Paul Varilla chipped in 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
It was Pumaren’s first win on the MOA Arena floor and the famously stern mentor jested in his post-game conference, “Ganito pala yung press room dito.” Turning serious, however, the UE coach said, “The third quarter was the Warriors that I am looking for.”
Alolino had 23 points to once again lead the effort for NU whose comeback attempt fell short for the second time in a row.
UE 76 – Batiller 23, Charcos 12, Varilla 11, Abanto 9, De Leon 8, Palma 6, Sta. Ana 4, Manalang 3, Derige 0, Gagate 0, Gonzales 0, Yu 0, Penuela 0
NU 71 – Alolino 23, Javelona 16, Aroga 8, Salim 6, Diputado 5, Javillonar 5, Neypes 4, Abatayo 2, Celda 2, Alejandro 0, Rangel 0, Morido 0
QUARTER SCORES: 20-16, 32-37, 60-46, 76-71
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.