UAAP: 6-9 Fil-Aussie Brandon Bates lifts La Salle’s ceiling higher

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 27, 2018 08:09 PM
UAAP: 6-9 Brandon Bates lifts La Salle’s ceiling higher
La Salle has a new tower on the rise in the form of 6-9 Fil-Aussie Brandon Bates

With Prince Orizu still sitting out for Far Eastern University on Saturday, the frontline of De La Salle University went to work.

In a convincing victory, Justine Baltazar topped the scoring column with 15 points, six rebounds, and two blocks while fellow big men Santi Santillan and Brandon Bates also did damage down low with the former finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds and the latter ending with seven markers and 10 boards.

Baltazar and Santillan have now been used to doing the heavy lifting for the Green Archers.

Bates’ breakout, though, is nothing but a welcome development for them. “Tonight, it was Brandon’s time,” head coach Louie Gonzalez said post-game, talking about his first-year Filipino-Australian.

Apparently, Bates wasted no time in coming through for his mentor – just a day after the latter gave the former a pep talk. “Actually, yesterday, I talked to him and said na with the effort he’s giving, he has to commend himself. That’s why I told him that every time he gets the offensive rebound, I want him to take the shot,” coach Louie said.

That is exactly what the 6-foot-9 center did against the Tamaraws – hauling down four offensive rebounds and being a big part of their massive 18-4 edge in second chance points.

In the eyes of La Salle’s first-year head coach, Bates has just proven his worth with this game. As he put it, “This guy will do everything, not just scoring, to help this team. He’s a winner and that’s why he’s part of this team.”

For his part, the 21-year-old said that knowing he has the full faith of the Green Archers just makes him want to work harder. “It’s high praise. It’s nice to hear that. I’m not too confident in myself, but it’s nice to know that the coaches and my teammates, they have all the confidence in me to step up,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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