Rence Padrigao grabs share of spotlight as Batang Gilas gets off to strong start in Seaba U16
Rence Padrigao earns praise from coach Mike Oiver but deflects credit to Kai Sotto. Jerome Ascano

FOCUS was on Kai Sotto as the Batang Gilas but Rence Padrigao grabbed his share of the spotlight in the Seaba Basketball Tournament Under 16 opener.

The Ateneo-bound guard dazzled on both ends of the floor as he finished with 14 points, six assists and four assists while manning the point for the Philippine side who came away with a 108-42 win over Singapore on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Padrigao wowed the crowd with his heady play and amazing passes, proving to be the most exciting and efficient player on the floor for coach Mike Oliver.

"I had a good game kasi nadala ko po yung team ko sa offense and defense na sinasabi po ni Coach Michael," said Padrigao.

"Sana magtuloy-tuloy pa po ito hanggang matapos po yung Seaba, at hanggang umabot po tayo ng Fiba Asia," he added.

His play earned him praises for coach Mike Oliver who said having Padrigao made coaching easier for him.

"Naging very easy sa akin ang pagko-coach dahil siya ang nag-direct ng offense namin kanina," Oliver said.

"Nadala naman niya yung team, both on offense and defense," he added.

For Padrigao, it was Sotto who made life easier for him as a point guard.

After all, not every point guard in this tournament can say that he has a 6'11 big man to turn to when things go south.

"Syempre confident ako kay Kai kasi beside sa height niya, pag pinasahan siya, alam naman nating maf-finish niya yung mga pasa ko sa kanya kasi mas malapit nga siya sa ring and mas maganda yun kasi mas nado-dominate pa natin ang mga rebounds."

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