Brandon Bates proves useful as La Salle stays alive and kicking in UAAP 82

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 23, 2019 09:02 PM
Bates proves useful as La Salle stays alive and kicking
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Brandon Bates was a force in De La Salle University's triumph over University of Sto. Tomas, Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum.

Bates posted a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double to go along with two blocks.

Without a doubt, the 6-foot-9 big man posed a problem for Soulemane Chabi Yo and the Growling Tigers' undersized frontline.

And without a doubt, the Green Archers wouldn't have outworked their opponents without him.

Of course, the Taft-based team is pushing for a place in the playoffs and needed the win to make sure it didn't get left behind by erstwhile third-running UST and fourth-running Far Eastern University.

As it turns out, though, Bates has extra fuel for his already burning fire. "I'm absolutely doing this to silence the haters," he said post-game.

Earlier in the season, as he and the rest of the green and white stumbled out of the gates, he was the subject of several negative posts on social media.

It got so bad that the Filipino-Australian was even called "useless."

That word, though, only became a chip on his shoulder. "It definitely motivates me, for sure. I even put on my Twitter that I'm useless," he said.

Still, Bates acknowledged that he understood where all the criticism was coming from, "I know coming into La Salle, there are massive expectations especially big men, especially after Ben Mbala. And my sophomore year, you don't wanna get into that slump, but I had that early on," he said as his first five games saw him average 1.8 points in 36.4 percent shooting on top of 7.2 rebounds and less than a block.

Since being called "useless," though, the second-year center only doubled down on the work and is now norming 3.0 points in 53.1 percent shooting on top of 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. "I realized I'm not gonna be a superstar like [Justine] Baltazar, but if I do my job then I can help my team. If they wanna call me useless, go ahead," he shared.

He then continued, "I don't mind. I can take it. I'll just be better from it."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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