FORTHSKY Padrigao said winning MVP honors in the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia 2018 is a big boost to his confidence ahead of his stint with Batang Gilas in the Fiba Under-17 Basketball World Cup.
The 16-year old Padrigao was one of two Filipinos in the camp organized by the NBA and Fiba that attracted 66 players from 16 countries, which he dscribed as an experience he will never fotget.
“’Yung experience ko, napakaganda. I-cherish ko siya as one of my highlights of my career as a basketball player,” said Padrigao in an interview at the NBA Philippines office in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
While he learned a lot in terms of skills training, Padrigao said he also got valuable lessons on the mental side of the game from NBA and WNBA coaches who supervised the camp.
“’Yung isang bagay na natutunan ko is ‘yung ‘Be comfortable in being uncomfortable.’ ‘Yun ang isang natutunan ko siguro na puwede kong dalhin sa pag-grow ko as basketball player and as a person,” said Padrigao.
During the four-day camp, Padrigao said the campers underwent positional skills training, team concepts training, and scrimmages. The campers were then divided into four teams where they played matches.
“Mostly kasi mas matatangkad sila sa akin so parang ako ‘yung isa sa mga malilit na players doon,” said the 5-foot-11 Ateneo Blue Eaglets guard.
“Wala naman akong ginawang special. ‘Yung lagi ko lang ginagawa sa Pilipinas ‘yung dinala ko na doon. Every drill ginagawa ko lang best ko. Na-swertehan lang din ako,” said Padrigao.
Padrigao said the BWB experience will also prepare him for the upcoming Fiba Under-17 Basketball World Cup in Argentina where the Philippines will be playing.
“Para sa akin, mas nahanda niya ako for the upcoming Under-17. ‘Yung mga kalaban ko, mas magagaling at mas malalakas which is same sa Under-17. Na-ready ko sarili ko sa mga possibility na puwedeng mangyari,” said Padrigao.