Alfred Batino was all smiles after he and the Cignal HD Hawkeyes clinched the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday night. But deep inside, the six-foot-four bruiser felt a little pain with his second D-League crown.
“Bittersweet para sa’kin,” admitted Batino.
The young Cebuano could not help but feel that way, as the HD Hawkeyes had to take down CEU Scorpions — his alma mater, whom he had helped win championships in NAASCU and also in the D-League — en route to the title.
“Alma mater ko yung CEU,” added Batino, who averaged 6.0 points on 66 percent and 4.5 rebounds in the Finals.
Batino was a member of the Café France Bakers team that won the 2015 Foundation Cup. But more than that, he was among the pioneers of CEU’s program, which rose to prominence owing to their numerous NAASCU crowns.
And as the Scorpions made their way to the 2017 Foundation Cup Finals — a compelling feat for a collegiate team in the semi-professional ranks, Batiño did not hide his excitement, saying that he couldn’t be more proud of his alma mater.
“Proud na proud ako na pumasok sila sa championship kasi no one expected na makapasok sila sa championship, given na kalaban nila superteam like Flying V,” said Batiño, recalling the semis clash between CEU and Flying V.
“Proud na proud ako sa kanila, cinongratulate ko talaga sila nung nanalo sila. Sabi ko kita-kita na lang sa Finals.”