Mixing hoops and academics–the Ateneo way

Members of Batang Gilas will be learning more than just basketball in Argentina.

Basketball is life? Sure, but having an education isn’t that bad of a backup.

Three Ateneo standouts who are part of the Gilas Pilipinas youth team to the Fiba under-17 World Cup in Argentina will alternate between balls and books as the Philippines tries to make its mark in the grandest stage for future basketball superstars.


Kai Sotto, Rence Keith Padrigao and Shaun Geoffrey Chiu will need to hit the books while competing in order to keep up with the standards set by Ateneo high school.

To monitor the progress of Sotto, Padrigao and Chiu, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, allowed renowned basketball blogger Enzo Flojo to join the team. Flojo is an English teacher at Ateneo High School and finished his MA in Basic Education at Ateneo.


“Each day, we will have academic conduct time with the players,” Flojo told Sports5. “Of course, more time when there are no [scheduled] games.”

Ateneo’s emphasis on the education of its athletes has never been questioned.

Notably, the 2002 team, which ended a 14-year title-drought in men’s basketball, featured LA Tenorio, Wesley Gonzales, Larry Fonacier, Enrico Villanueva, JC Intal, Doug Kramer, Jec Chia, Eric Yao, Paolo Bugia, Sonny Tadeo, Marco Benitez, Joy del Rosario, Andrew Cruz, JR Elmido, Magnum Membrere and Rich Alvarez.

All of them earned their college degrees.

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TAGS: Ateneo, Basketball, Education, Fiba Under-17 World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas youth team
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