MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Ateneo de Manila University continues to load up for the future by securing the commitment of high school stars Forthsky Padrigao and Josh Lazaro.
Head coach Tab Baldwin announced on Monday afternoon that both players will be suiting up for the Blue Eagles in college, starting in Season 84.
Both Padrigao and Lazaro still have one more year of eligibility left for the Blue Eaglets.
"Both of these guys have been on the radar, not just for Ateneo. They've been the target of other universities, which is acceptable, which is commonplace," said Baldwin. "It's a credit to their talent, to their ability, and to their future."
"We're very proud and excited and happy to be able to say that their future is going to be with the Blue Eagles," he added. "They have to finish their last year with the Blue Eaglets, but when that is finished, they'll be joining the Blue Eagles and they'll be in training for Season 84."
Padrigao was a Mythical Team member in Season 81, and averaged 17.2 points, 4.13 rebounds, 4.13 assists, and 3.67 steals per game last season. Lazaro, for his part, transferred from San Beda University to Ateneo and averaged 13.2 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. He made it to the Mythical Team in Season 82.
"The quality education in Ateneo is a given," said Padrigao. "Ang nagpa-commit talaga sa akin sa Ateneo is 'yung basketball program. 'Yun lang po kasi 'yung hinahanap ko sa isang school, quality education and a good basketball program."
"Parehas meron ang Ateneo, so hindi ko na kailangan lumayo," he added.
Lazaro, a 6-foot-5 forward, credited his parents in helping him make his decision.
"'Yung parents ko, ini-stress nila lagi 'yung importance ng education. Given na rin 'yung program ni Coach Tab. One of a kind talaga," he said.
Ateneo has previously announced the commitment of Fil-Italian guard Gabriel Gomez and Fil-American swingman Chris Koon.
Gomez will be immediately eligible in Season 83, while Koon will join Padrigao and Lazaro in Season 84.