Batang Gilas captain Forthksy Padrigao primed for world spotlight

JR Isaga
The 16-year-old standout vows to strive harder in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup 2018

 

YOUNG SENSATION. Forthsky Padrigao wows in the international stage with his sound floor leadership. Photo by NBA Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The spotlight may be on his towering teammates, but Batang Gilas’ lead point guard and team captain Rence “Forthsky” Padrigao doesn’t mind. 

For me, yung motto ko sa basketball is: Make my teammates better,” said Padrigao. “So for me, priority ko pa rin yung teammates ko. If may [scoring] opportunity na para sa akin, then I’m going for that din.”

(For me, my motto in basketball is: Make my teammates better. So for me, I still prioritize my teammates, and if there’s a scoring opportunity for me, then I’m going for that too.)

The Philippine basketball youth team is set to compete in the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Argentina starting Sunday, July 1 (Manila time) with a lineup bannered by the 7-foot-1 Kai Sotto and the versatile 6-foot-7 forward Carl Tamayo, 

The 6-foot-8 Geo Chiu and 6-foot-7 Raven Cortez round out the towering quartet of the tallest Batang Gilas squad assembled yet. (READ: Kai Sotto headlines tallest Batang Gilas lineup yet for World Cup)

Although Padrigao expects a tough run in the world stage, the Ateneo high school standout has been used to the pressure under the spotlight. 

Padrigao has recently been selected as the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders (BWB) camp Most Valuable Player in India. The former Adamson player was also a Mythical 5 member in the Nike All-Asia Camp in Dongguan, China last June 11 to 15.

Overseen by NBA talents such as the Brooklyn Nets’ Caris LeVert in India and Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons in China, Padrigao wowed in the international stage with his sound floor leadership at just 16 years old.

Mas nahanda ako [ng BWB] for the upcoming Under-17,” he said in a recent interview arranged by NBA Philippines. “Kasi yung mga kalaban ko dun ay malalaki, mas malalakas, which is same sa Under-17 namin so na-ready ko yung sarili ko [sa] mga possibilities na mangyayari sa [World Cup].”

(BWB prepared me better for the upcoming Under-17. My opponents there were bigger and stronger, which is the same in the Under-17, so it got me ready for the possibilities that would happen in the World Cup.)

But Padrigao knows he still has to strive harder in the World Cup, 

Kailangan ko pa maging mas consistent sa shooting ko,” he admitted. “Isa pa, yung sa team namin ngayon, yung defense [kailangan ma-improve].

(I need to be more consistent with my shooting. Also, as a team, we need to improve our defense.) – Rappler.com