For the first time since they were not yet even in high school, Josh Lazaro and Penny Estacio will no longer be batchmates in San Beda High School or teammates with the Red Cubs.
That is because versatile forward Lazaro and heady guard Estacio have gone their separate ways with the former moving to Ateneo de Manila High School and the latter moving to Far Eastern University-Diliman.
This marks the end of four years of being batchmates in school as well as teammates in red and white.
Of course, the fact that they will be on warring camps from now on is a tough transition to make for both of them. "Ako po talaga, na-sad ako kasi si Josh, siya laging kakampi ko and inaasahan ko sa San Beda. Pero siyempre, at the same time, I'm happy for him because better opportunities yun," Estacio said.
Fortunately for the two, they got a golden opportunity for a beautiful goodbye when they represented the Philippines in the 2019 adidas Next Generation All-Star Game held last May in Vitoria, Spain.
There, the Filipino promising prospects got to play with the other top young talent from all over the world. They also got a chance to hear from NBA veteran Ricky Rubio of the Utah Jazz.
And so, even though it was their last time together before going their separate ways, the two did nothing but cherish what they had there. "Unforgettable experience po talaga siya sa amin kasi ang basketball po, continuous process siya ng learning and andami naming natutunan dun," Estacio said.
Lazaro could only agree. "Ang ganda po talaga ng nangyari kasi andami talaga naming natutunan dun. Napaganda pa po lalo kasi parang ito na rin yung naging goodbye namin sa isa't-isa, yung last time na magkasama kami," he said.
And for that, the good friends and longtime teammates are nothing but thankful.
So much so that they hope that many others get to experience what they did in the future. "Ako po, siyempre, I'd want another opportunity like this, pero hindi lang para sa akin kundi yung iba pang (young players) in the future," Lazaro said.
He then continued, "Yung ganitong experience po kasi, malaking tulong talaga para sa career."
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