Ateneo's Baldwin sees Padrigao surpassing predecessors Nieto, Belangel
Coach Tab Baldwin (L) sees a high ceiling in terms of being a floor general for recent seniors team commit Forthsky Padrigao
UAAP
Ateneo's Baldwin sees Padrigao surpassing predecessors Nieto, Belangel
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - September 23, 2020 - 9:38am

MANILA, Philippines — Forthsky Padrigao may still be in his senior year of high school, but Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin already has high expectations of the guard's basketball ceiling.

Speaking to the media via a Zoom call on Monday, Baldwin revealed that he expects the 6-foot guard to surpass those before him like the recently graduated Matt Nieto and Eagles role player SJ Belangel.

"One thing that separates Forthysky potentially from all of them — and also presents the possibility of him being better than any of them — is he has better court vision than al of his predecessors," said Baldwin of the seniors squad's latest commit.

"He's a tremendous passer of the ball, and he's gonna get a lot stronger, which is going to make his passing even better," Baldwin added.

In UAAP Season 82, Padrigao was more known for his scoring with an average of 17.2 markers a game — the highest for the Blue Eaglets.

He also posted norms of 4.13 rebounds, 4.13 assists and 3.67 steals.

Padrigao has even tested his mettle in international competitions, being part of the Gilas Youth team that competed in three FIBA youth events.

Donning the Batang Gilas jersey, he averaged 7.1 points per contest.

His ability to create his own offense, Baldwin says, will be a great tool for him to make his teammates better by running the floor.

"When you combine that with the fact that he is a good long-range shooter, you got a kid that can be a great floor general, a player that plays very well with superior talent," Baldwin said.

Though the multi-titled tactician still wants to improve Padrigao, especially on the defensive end.

"We just have to turn him to a player who loves and wants to play defense and a player that has the strength and ability to be a rim attacker as well," he said.

Padrigao and high school teammate Joshua Lazaro recently confirmed their commitment to joining the Ateneo seniors team come college, even if they do have one year left with the high school squad.

"It's always a pleasure for our program to bring players from the high school ranks into the universiy because we see that as a big advantage for us whenever that can happen," Baldwin said.

Padrigao and Lazaro will see the court with the Ateneo seniors squad in UAAP Season 84.

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