BRANDON Bates is still clearly a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make his impact felt right away for La Salle.
The 6-foot-9 Fil-Australian cager took advantage of the absence of FEU’s Prince Orizu, becoming the anchor on the paint in the Green Archers’ 65-57 win over the Tamaraws on Friday.
Bates finished with just seven points, but had 10 rebounds, two blocked shots and changed a whole lot more as the bigger Green Archers imposed their will on the Tamaraws.
That performance earned him raves from head coach Louie Gonzalez.
“Tonight it was Brandon’s time. He really did it. Before the game I spoke to him that with the effort he’s giving, he has to commend himself. I told him that, everytime you get the offensive rebound and you see the ring, I want you to take the shot,” said Gonzalez.
“Because this guy will do everything, not just on scoring, to help this team. He’s a winner. That’s why he’s part of this team,” he added.
Those words were certainly music to Bates’ ears who admitted that self-confidence isn’t really his best suit.
Knowing the trust that his coaches and teammates give him, it just pushes him to work harder moving forward.
“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 coaching staff, the managing staff and the players they all have confidence in me to step up and do what I need to do,” said Bates who prior to this game just averaged 2.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Bates said that he’s always had the same mindset into every game, just being prepared when the coaches call his number.
Aside from that, a cup of coffee also helps for added energy.
I just enjoy it. I just go in every game, same mindset, I had a little bit of coffee before the game, a bit more energy,,” Bates said.
“I’ve read something about pro players. They’re not always gonna be starters, they’re always ready to play when coaches ask them. That’s really it.”