Philippine basketball

Tab Baldwin wants Dave Ildefonso to ‘rethink his decision’

JR Isaga
Tab Baldwin wants Dave Ildefonso to ‘rethink his decision’
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin tells former Blue Eaglet star Dave Ildefonso that he left the better program



MANILA, Philippines – It wasn’t enough that the Ateneo Blue Eagles destroyed the NU Bulldogs in a 72-46 statement win.

It also wasn’t enough that the Eagles’ defense held prized NU recruit and former Ateneo high school star Dave Ildefonso to a season-low 4 points.

No, after the blowout win, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin also wanted Ildefonso to know that he left the better program.

“Dave, as everybody knows, was a very valued recruit for Ateneo, and we ended up not getting him,” Baldwin said in the post-game presser.

“I think that we wanted Dave to rethink that decision or perhaps in hindsight, wonder why he made that decision.”

Prior to the UAAP Season 81, the then-incoming college freshman was caught in a tug-of-war between NU, where his brother Shaun and father Danny currently are, and Ateneo, where he clinched the Season 80 juniors championship as a Mythical Five member.

The younger Ildefonso ultimately chose to be a star for the rebuilding Bulldogs, where he is now the undoubted go-to scorer after just three games.

But after two great games averaging 17.5 points, the 6-foot-3 Batang Gilas star ran into a brick wall and fell right into Ateneo’s hands, which was all within the Eagles’ plans.

“We want the next recruit that it’s in that position to remember today,” Baldwin added. “And we’ll continue to put performances on the court that hope for all of our recruits to take note, and think that this is the right place to be.”

“Because they don’t want to be on the other side,” he concluded.

But Ildefonso is taking it all in stride.

“Well I don’t think I made a wrong decision, switching schools,” he said. “Whatever statement they were sending me, I didn’t get it. It’s a rookie year, I’m bouncing back.”

Right now, he’s just focused on the next game ahead.

“I’m just thinking about Adamson next, to bounce back, be a better player, be a better team and have better chemistry with my teammates,” said Ildefonso.

But by the time NU and Ateneo meet again in the second round, it’ll certainly be a different story.

“I think I made a right decision, coach Tab,” Ildefonso said. “See you soon.” –

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