collegiate basketball

New beginning: Forthsky Padrigao relishes career restart with UST

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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New beginning: Forthsky Padrigao relishes career restart with UST

DRIVE. Forthsky Padrigao in action for the UST Growling Tigers in the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup.

FilOil EcoOil Sports

Forthsky Padrigao says he missed playing against UAAP competition as he suits up for the UST Growling Tigers in the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup

MANILA, Philippines – After a tumultuous year of public scrutiny for his time with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, former UAAP champion Forthsky Padrigao will finally don the black and gold uniforms of the Growling Tigers in Season 87.  

For Padrigao, this is the second chance he hoped for and a fitting restart for his collegiate career.  

“I am so grateful for my coaches and the entire UST for accepting me, giving me another opportunity to play basketball, which has always been my dream,” said Padrigao, who was all smiles after the Growling Tigers’ debut game in the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup, where they lost to reigning UAAP champions La Salle Green Archers. 

“I missed it so much,” said Padrigao in Filipino on being able to play against UAAP competition again. “But then, I’m now more excited about our process, how my coaches will handle things for us.”

Doubling down on learning UST’s process, Padrigao – who left Ateneo due to academic and moral issues – looks forward to what is in store for his journey with his new team.

“I know not everything will be easy. Immersing in the process is where we bond and build our chemistry. From there, we’ll see,” he said.

Padrigao, who was the Tigers’ starting point guard versus La Salle, struggled in his first game with UST’s Team A as he finished with 9 points on 3-of-14 shooting.

Despite the cold shooting, Padrigao fitted right in with the likes of UST veterans Nic Cabanero and Christian Manaytay. 

“We still have a lot of lapses. There is still a lot of work to do,” said Padrigao. “For now, we have nothing to lose since we have proven nothing yet.”

A former UAAP Mythical Team member, the 22-year-old Padrigao vows to inject maturity and bring leadership into the Tigers, who won only six games in the past three seasons. 

“I will really focus on my leadership this coming season. We have players who are still young, so I need to bring that maturity coming from a UAAP championship team,” he said. 

Padrigao banners a slew of players who transferred to UST in the past year, including former UE Red Warrior Kyle Paranada, former Green Archer Geremy Robinson, former UP Maroon Ashon Andrews, Ice Danting, Mohamed Tounkara, and Peter Osang. 

However, Padrigao – who was once invited to the NBA Basketball Without Borders camp – said the Growling Tigers remain a work in progress as they are set to hold training camps abroad in the coming months. 

“I want to use the word ‘underdog’ for us,” said Padrigao. “I want us to fight every time we play.”

“Whatever happens, or if ever we reach the Final Four, we’ll just cross the bridge when we get there.”

In his last playing year for Ateneo in Season 85, Padrigao averaged 11.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.4 steals to finish as MVP runner-up behind UP’s Malick Diouf. –

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