After four years of being on the same squad, Josh Lazaro and Penny Estacio will be on warring factions in UAAP Season 82.
Key cogs for San Beda High School's continued contention a year ago, Lazaro is now inside the nest of Ateneo de Manila High School while Estacio is now revving up for the charge of Far Eastern University-Diliman.
Of course, being in a new school and bonding with new teammates is a tough transition.
The good news for the two is that they got a big boost in their adjustment after taking part in the 2019 adidas Next Generation All-Star Game last month in Spain.
There, the Filipino promising prospects got a chance to hear from NBA veteran Ricky Rubio of the Utah Jazz and then got to play with the other top young talents from all over the world.
"Ang natutunan po namin lalo dun is you should always compete, na kailangang magpakilala lagi sa mga tao," Estacio shared. "Kaya yung nakapag-compete po kami with different players from around the world, sobrang dami ko nang natutunan dun."
Even more, both also had to work around getting instructions from coaches who didn't speak the same language. "New experience po sa amin dun na first time kaming ma-coach ng Chinese coach. Sobrang tinding adjustment ginawa namin, pero natuto rin po tlaga kami dun," Lazaro recalled.
Thanks to that, the good friends have all the confidence in the world that they can make an immediate impact for their new teams. "It was a big boost po talaga lalo nang transferee kami. Bale, pumunta po kaming Spain, kinuha lahat nang matututunan namin tapos pag-start sa Ateneo, dun ko po malalabas lahat ng natutunan ko," Lazaro said.
Estacio could only agree. "Hinding-hindi ko po talaga ni-take for granted yung pagpunta namin dun. Lahat po ng natutunan ko dun, ia-apply ko po talaga pagdating sa FEU(-Diliman)," he said.
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