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Baldwin sees Lazaro as ‘taller’ Mamu, ‘smaller’ Navarro

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Tiebreaker Times Baldwin sees Lazaro as 'taller' Mamu, 'smaller' Navarro ADMU Basketball News UAAP  UAAP Season 84 Men's bASKETBALL UAAP Season 84 Tab Baldwin Joshua Lazaro Ateneo Men's Basketball

People only need to watch to see the overall impact Joshua Lazaro brought to Ateneo High School in his first year.

The transferee from San Beda impressed with norms of 13.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.93 assists, 1.47 steals, and 1.33 blocks per game.

Meanwhile, over his eight-year stay in the Philippines, Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin loves having lanky utility players like Vince Tolentino, Adrian Wong, William Navarro, and Gian Mamuyac in his teams.

Lazaro certainly fits that billing.

“Josh fits the profile of a player that I really like personally. It’s a personal preference as a coach.

“It comes down very much to long, active, energetic, and tough. Josh is a guy that when you watch him play, he’s fairly relentless, he pursues the ball everywhere, he’s multi-positional. He’s got some development to do on his offensive game, his perimeter shot,” said Baldwin.

“Josh is going to create possessions for the team he plays for, and he’s gonna get offensive rebounds… He’s gonna get steals with his length, and he’s gonna cause problems for the opposition. Once he gets the required discipline to his offensive game and into his basketball IQ, he’s gonna solve problems for his team. And I really like that profile,” the decorated tactician cited.

The 6-foot-5 Lazaro is still a year away from entering the collegiate game, but Baldwin already has a vision for him. He sees him as a bigger Mamuyac, who stands at 6-foot-1; or a smaller Navarro, who is 6-foot-6.

Tiebreaker Times Baldwin sees Lazaro as 'taller' Mamu, 'smaller' Navarro ADMU Basketball News UAAP  UAAP Season 84 Men's bASKETBALL UAAP Season 84 Tab Baldwin Joshua Lazaro Ateneo Men's Basketball

“He’s a taller Gian Mamuyac — if you will, a smaller Will Navarro.

“But I think Josh’s future is very much as a small forward and not a power forward. He’s gonna be exciting to work with, in that sense,” he gushed.

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For Lazaro, he knows that he still has a lot to work on to adjust to the Blue Eagles. And he is even willing to sit out one year in college to cope with the demands of being a player under Baldwin.

“Malaking challenge ‘yung mag-adjust sa laro sa seniors. Kailangan ko ‘yung maturity sa game, ‘yung katawan ko kasi ‘di na ako sobrang tall pagdating sa college. Marami akong nakikitang opportunity pagdating sa college,” said the 18-year-old native of Taytay, Rizal.

“Pinagkakatiwala ko ‘yun lahat kay coach Tab, kaya Ateneo ang pinili ko.”

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