With the departure of notable cagers post-Season 85 of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP), the defending champions, Ateneo de Manila University, comfortably peer from the top of the hill. As the Tab Baldwin-bred ensemble gears up to defend their crown, one key piece of the Blue Eagles remains at the eagle’s nest.
Former Ateneo Blue Eaglet Forthsky Padrigao forgoes his third year of playing eligibility, sitting out the upcoming UAAP season due to an academic probation technicality. Despite meeting the standards set for student-athletes by the UAAP, the incoming junior failed to reach the quality point index (QPI) threshold as a sophomore in the university.
According to the Tiebreaker Times, students who fail to reach the school’s academic requirements will not be allowed to participate in “extra-curricular activities, including joining organizations and varsity teams,” primarily intended to focus on studies.
“Forthsky Padrigao was unable to meet Ateneo de Manila University’s academic requirements in SY 2022-2023, and therefore he is not eligible to play in the upcoming UAAP Season 86. He will use the time off the court to focus on his academics. We hope to see him back on the court once he fulfills his responsibilities as an Ateneo student,” an official statement from the university reads.
Without their backcourt facilitator, the shorthanded Blue Eagles look to their fifth-year captain, Sean Quitevis, to lead the convocation—relying on UAAP Season 85 standouts Chris Koon, Kai Ballungay, and Gio Chiu as well as fresh faces to provide supplementary firepower in their title bid.