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Batiller continues hot start as UE upends Adamson

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Coming from an excellent performance against the NU Bulldogs, Edson Bateller continued to make his star shine brighter, as the General Santos hotshot led the University of the East Red Warriors to an 89-78 win over the young Adamson University Soaring Falcons, Wednesday afternoon at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

It was the Nico Capote show in the opening quarter, as the rookie was scorching hot in scoring 12 points, all from downtown. The cagers from San Marcelino quickly opened the game with a 5-3 lead. Edison Batiller then sparked an 8-0 run that put the Red Warriors ahead, 11-5, with 6:23 to go. That is when Capote started a spectacle, as the hot-shooting rookie made it rain threes against the Red Warriors. The Recto-based squad could not find the answer for Capote in the quarter, as he knocked down back-to-back three pointers to end the quarter, and give Adamson a 26-20 lead.

As Capote was resting on the bench during the start of the second stanza, the Derrick Pumaren-mentored squad pressed hard on defense resulting to turnovers. It also helped limit the Falcons to a single field goal up until the 3:29 mark of the quarter. This gave UE a ten point margin, 39-30. Coach Mike Fermin, then, brought in bruisers, Ivan Villanueva and Papi Sarr, to close the quarter. The two big men fought hard against the frontline of UE. Moreover, rookie Guard, JD Tungcab was able to find them underneath for easy baskets to eventually cut the lead down to just three, 44-41, to enter the second half.

The two squads then exchanged points to open the third quarter with the Red Warriors clinging to a six point margin, 53-47, at the 4:43 point. The Falcons were able to tie the game at 55-all behind senior Guard, Joseph Nalos, and Villanueva. Just as the Falcons were gaining their momentum, Varilla, Batiller, and Fran Yu teamed up to close the quarter with a 6-0 run to give their team a six point cushion to enter the final frame, 63-57.

The UE lead continued to grow as Varilla was aggressive on scoring, while energy guy, Clark Derige, helped in crashing the boards and scoring on putbacks. The pressing UE defense also locked down on the Adamson offense in scoring, as a high-banking Capote three-pointer and a Harold Ng layup were the only points the team produced until midway through the quarter. During that span, the Red Warriors were able to score 22 points to give Recto cagers the biggest lead of the game, 79-62. The Falcons though had one last fight in them as Nalos, Ng, and Tungcab forced UE into turnovers leading to easy points in a 10-0 run to cut the lead to seven with 2:40 remaining. However, a back-breaking jumper by Batiller killed the momentum gained by the young Adamson squad. A layup by Edgar Charcos and free throws by Varilla sealed the game for UE 89-78.

“We had to dig deep for this win,” said veteran UE Coach Derrick Pumaren. “We knew going into the game that Adamson was tough.” He then told the members of the press present that their strategy for this game was to make Adamson work hard and, in the end, it was their defense that gave them the win.

The Warriors were able to force Adamson to 25 turnovers that led to 24 easy points. Moreover, the victors moved the ball excellently in this game in assisting on 28 of the 33 made field goals of the team.

UE was again led by Edson Batiller for the second straight game. Batiller scored 23 points on 8/15 shooting from the field. The Gen San-native also added 8 assists and 6 steals. Pumaren remarked that he was no longer surprised about the production Batiller gives the team. “I already saw what he can do before because he was my first recruit,” he said about the budding star.

For Adamson, freshmen JD Tungcab and Nico Capote led their team with 16 and 15 respectively. Team Captain, Dawn Ochea only attempted five shots, scoring just four points. He also grabbed seven boards and had two dimes.

The UE Red Warriors (2-1) will have a tough task in their next assignment, as they face the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday, September 18 at 2:00pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. For the 0-3 Adamson Falcons, the journey gets tougher, as they face the DLSU Green Archers on Sunday, September 19 at 2:00pm. The game will be played at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

UE (89)- Batiller 23, Varilla 14, Derige 12, Charcos 9, Yu 8, Javier 6, De Leon 6, Palma 6, Abanto 2, Gonzales 2, Manalang 1, Sta. Ana 0

ADU (78) – Tungcab 16, Capote 15, Nalos 14, Ng 11, Villanueva 8, Sarr 6, Ochea 4, Polican 2, Garcia 2, Bernardo 0, Escalambre 0

Quarters: 20-26, 44-41, 63-57, 89-78.

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