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Pumaren: Bates is ripe for PBA


Derrick Pumaren believes that Brandon Bates is already ripe to see action in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Pumaren said he believes that the 6-foot-9 Bates can now bang bodies in the professional ranks despite handling him briefly at De La Salle University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

He said Bates had become a much better player following his return to Australia where he continued his studies at University of Sydney and played with the National Basketball League 1 team Sutherland.

“I think he is PBA ready,” Pumaren said in response to Daily Tribune’s question via Messenger.

Pumaren, a multi-awarded coach in the UAAP, National Capital Region Athletic Association and the Philippine Basketball Association, said he is basing his observation in the brief time they were together with the Green Archers.

“I was only able to handle him for one month then the pandemic came in 2021 and he decided  to not continue his playing years with La Salle,” Pumaren said.

“But he is a banger and a big man who can occupy space. He just needs to work on his post and perimeter games.”

Aside from playing in La Salle and Australia, Bates also saw action for Platinum in the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 tournament.

Bates will be one among the PBA aspirants entering the annual Rookie Draft in September and even Anton Altamirano, his coach in 3×3, is confident that his player could crack the first round.

“Definitely, he’s PBA ready,” said Altamirano, son of multi-titled coach Eric Altamirano.

“For me, he should be in the top five. He’s an agile 6-foot-9 player and provides an intimidating presence.”

Bates’ size and exposure will surely make him attractive in the coming draft and he will be among the most sought-after players, together with Lawrence Domingo, Keith Datu and Ricci Rivero.

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