Forthsky Padrigao has learned his lesson on how to lead Blue Eaglets to victory

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 28, 2020 04:35 PM
Padrigao has learned his lesson on how to lead Eaglets
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)

Ateneo de Manila High School came oh so close to downing undefeated league-leader Nazareth School of National University.

Ultimately, the Blue Eaglets bowed to the Bullpups, 78-81, but not before Forthsky Padrigao pushed the defending champions to their breaking point.

In that game to start the second round, the primetime playmaker razzled and dazzled for 30 points.

Still, his best game wound up in a loss - and what appears in the team standings is, and always will be, what matters most for Padrigao.

Indeed, following that defeat to National U, the 5-foot-11 guard has made it a point to make his presence felt elsewhere other than scoring. "Napansin ko nga kasing pag puro score lang ginagawa ko, natatalo kami. Ngayon, mas nagfo-focus ako sa setting up my teammates, rebounds, and defense," he said.

In turn, the Blue Eaglets have won two of their last three outings. "Sinabihan din talaga ko ni coach, pero bago pa nun, na-realize ko na rin yun. Lahat kasi ng score ko na mataas, puro talo so useless lang," he shared after averaging a more well-rounded 12.5 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.0 steals in their last three games.

He then continued, "Pag balanced yung scoring, dun kami nananalo."

Without a doubt, Padrigao has learned his lesson - that he doesn't necessarily have to take on the scoring load for the kids to Katipunan to win.

All of that is part of his maturation as the blue and white's floor leader. "Hanggang ngayon, nahihirapan pa rin ako, pero napa-practice naman yan. Time will come na masasanay rin ako," he said about his leadership role.

He then continued, "Hopefully, makukuha ko na rin talaga soon."

And with Padrigao showing the way, Ateneo remains in prime position to continue contending - even minus 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto. "Tiwalang-tiwala ako sa team namin. Yung problem namin this year is inconsistent kami, pero unti-unti, naaayos na namin yun," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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