RENCE Padrigao is already looking forward to playing for Ateneo even though he still has to wait for one year before he reunites with Batang Gilas teammate Kai Sotto at the Blue Eaglets' camp in the UAAP.
The 5-foot-10 Zamboanga native said he has already taken an entrance exam at Ateneo to begin the process of his transfer after playing for the Adamson Baby Falcons in the UAAP last year.
Once he is enrolled at Ateneo, Padrigao, called 'Forthsky' by family, friends, teammates, and coaches, will still undergo a one-year residency before playing for the Blue Eaglets, a predicament that he doesn’t mind.
“Nag-entrance exam na ako. ‘Yung focus ko muna studies ko para if ever hindi ako maging successful sa PBA, at least may fallback ako,” said Padrigao.
With a team-up with Sotto on the horizon, Padrigao is optimistic on the future of the Blue Eaglets squad once the veterans led by SJ Belangel graduates from Ateneo high school.
But he’s not looking that far ahead yet.
“Darating naman tayo doon. Siguro iwasan na lang ‘yung mga injuries para healthy kami lagi at mag-focus kung ano pa ang dapat i-improve,” he said.
Padrigao made a name for himself in the Seaba Under-16 Championship as the court general for Batang Gilas. He capped the tournament with another all-around performance marked by five points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and two steals against Malaysia.
Prior to the game against Malaysia, Padrigao was averaging 13 points, one rebound, and eight assists per outing.
“Siguro ginawa ko lang po ‘yung mga right things, ‘yung mga dating ginagawa ko, ina-apply ko lang dito. Walang excess,” said Padrigao.