Though he still has one more year in high school, Forthsky Padrigao has made it known where he wants to be for college.
The 6-foot floor general has committed to remain at Ateneo de Manila University for his tertiary studies.
The development was confirmed by his uncle, Coach Jade, who shared that his nephew’s decision stemmed from two things — the Ateneo education and being under Tab Baldwin.
“For us, why not? In the first place, the reason we left Adamson and transfer[red] to Ateneo is that we want him to study and play there,” shared Jade as Forthsky, a product of Ateneo de Zamboanga, went to Adamson for his first year in high school.
“Alam naman natin maraming nag-offer sa amin na makakatulong talaga sa kanya, pero Ateneo has quality education eh,” he continued, as schools like UP and La Salle also tried to recruit Forthsky.
“But of course, who doesn’t want to play for Coach Tab?”
The Padrigao family has already met Coach Tab, team manager Epok Quimpo, and team booster Manny V. Pangilinan.
Baldwin did not make any wild pitch to the 18-year-old. All Baldwin said was that “he wants Forthsky to be the best version of himself.
“The thing is, pinapanood na ni Coach Tab si Forthsky for the last three years. He knows ‘yung weaknesses ni Fortshky. Iba ‘yung sa videos lang napapanood, pero iba ‘yung kilala ka personally and that’s Coach Tab.“
Besides Baldwin, Forthsky also has been looking up to SJ Belangel.
Belangel will be in his senior year when Forthsky makes his debut come Season 84.
“Sabi ni Forthsky sa akin, he has been in touch with SJ. At grabe ‘yung inimprove ni SJ especially under Coach Tab. Sobrang kumpyansa na raw,” shared Jade, who is an assistant coach for MPBL team Basilan Steel.
“Kung basketball lang naman, gusto daw niya matuto under SJ. Si SJ dati shoot first, tapos ngayon pass first na. Gusto rin niyang maging ganun na marunong na magkumpas.”
During UAAP Season 82, Padrigao — who played for the youth team in the 2018 FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup — posted averages of 17.2 points, 4.13 rebounds, 4.13 assists, and 3.67 steals per contest.
However, the Blue Eaglets finished in fourth place.
His early commitment will only serve as motivation for the Gilas Youth standout entering his senior year, according to Jade.
“Given the uncertainties of the leagues, feeling ko this decision will better prepare him for college. November dapat ‘yung high school pero mukang wala na ‘yan. Puwedeng early next year ‘yung Season 83, pero puwedeng wala. But this will be a motivation for him, especially with his studies. Nung nalaman niya na gusto siya ng Ateneo, na-realize niya na privelege ‘yan. Kaya naging mas motivated siya mag-aral, mag-Zoom session with the seniors,” Jade shared.
“After nito, mas naging focused siya. Ayaw rin kasi niyang mapahiya. Dahil gusto siya ng Ateneo, gusto rin niya ma-prove na he deserves to be there.”