BON Batiller shook off a hard fall to become one of the heroes for University of the East in the Red Warriors’ penultimate game of Season 79 against University of Santo Tomas.
Batiller was carried off in a stretcher in the first half and taken to the locker room for an examination after he landed on his back hard while going for a layup.
But the General Santos City native returned to score seven of his 14 points in the second half as UE defeated University of the Philippines, 80-67.
Batiller said he was determined to return to the game despite the pain.
“Masakit pa pero tiniis ko na lang. Naglaro lang ako,” said Batiller.
Batiller said he was willing to play through pain in the second half due to the words of UE coach Derrick Pumaren, who wanted his wards to play hard despite being out of the Final Four picture.
“Sabi ni Manong (Pumaren) sa amin, dapat tapusin namin ‘yung season na may respeto pa rin ‘yung mga team sa amin. Alam naman namin na kaya namin this season,” Batiller said.
Pumaren said he saw the full potential of the Red Warriors in the game against the Maroons, who were determined to finish a vastly improved campaign on the right note.
“Even though UP made a run, we still kept our poise. We didn’t give up. We played hard. The energy was there and I’m happy sa pinakita nila,” said Pumaren.