UAAP: Ateneo's Padrigao, Lazaro want juniors title before joining Blue Eagles

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2020 01:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2020 01:24 PM

Ateneo's Forthsky Padrigao (10) and Josh Lazaro. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- Forthsky Padrigao and Josh Lazaro are determined to end their high school careers on a high note before they move to the seniors division at Ateneo de Manila University.

Padrigao and Lazaro, both of whom already have Mythical Team selections under their belts, want to lead the Blue Eaglets to another championship in what would be their final season in the juniors division.

"Isi-seize ko lang 'yung moment if ever may UAAP man kami," said Padrigao, who made it to the Mythical Team in Season 81 -- the last time that Ateneo made it to the boys' championship round.

READ: High school stars Padrigao, Lazaro commit to Ateneo Blue Eagles

There, the Blue Eaglets lost to the powerhouse National University Bullpups even with Padrigao and Kai Sotto anchoring Ateneo's attack. 

"Siyempre, main goal pa rin naman is to win the championship," added Padrigao. "But for me, 'yung last season ko is to make it memorable in any kind of way, na na-enjoy ko ang huling taon ko sa high school."

Lazaro, for his part, made it clear that he wants a title before he goes to the seniors division. A transferee from San Beda University-Taytay, Lazaro has yet to make it to the finals in his high school career, and a Mythical Team citation in Season 82 won't satisfy him. 

"Last season, gusto namin makuha 'yung championship. Especially ako, sa buong juniors career ko never pa ako nag-finals eh," he revealed. 

"So ayun, 'yung goal ko talaga is mag-champion ngayon," he added. 

In Season 82, Ateneo was eliminated in the first phase of the step-ladder Final 4 by Adamson University, despite having the trio of Padrigao, Lazaro, and another Mythical Team member in Francis "Lebron" Lopez.

They lost to Adamson, 84-75, with Padrigao scoring 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Lazaro issued 10 assists.

As determined as they are to win a title in their final season, both Padrigao and Lazaro are also aware that the coming year is shrouded with uncertainty as far as the UAAP is concerned. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAAP had to cancel the second semester sports tournaments in April. At the moment, there is no concrete schedule for Season 83, although the expectation is that it will start in the first quarter of 2021.

Lazaro and Padrigao said they want to "stay in the present" as they wait for the UAAP stakeholders to make a decision on their final season in high school.

"If ever meron man, we wanna finish our last year on a high note din," said Lazaro. "Like what I said kanina, gusto ko mag-champion talaga. Kahit sa last year ko sa juniors."

"Ayun lang, gusto ko ma-enjoy 'yung last year ko, and at the same time, gusto ko may ma-achieve 'yung team na lalaruan ko," he said.