UAAP: NU's Dave I: 'I think I made the right decision, Coach Tab'
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 22, 2018 08:32 PM
Dave Ildefonso would choose to go to NU again and again (FILE PHOTO)
After averaging 17.5 points in his first two games in the UAAP Seniors, Dave Ildefonso was shackled down to just four points on Saturday.
“Lakas ng katawan ni Thirdy [Ravena] e. Maganda yung game plan talaga nila,” he told reporters post-game after National University succumbed to Ateneo de Manila University, 46-72.
Of course, Ildefonso’s worst game thus far in the Seniors had to come against Ateneo, the very same school he left.
As it turns out, the Blue Eagles really saw to that. “I think that we wanted Dave to rethink that decision,” head coach Tab Baldwin in an earlier interview.
For the past three years, Ildefonso had worn the blue and white as a Blue Eaglet and in his last season there, won a championship.
And so, Katipunan’s Seniors squad did its all to keep the graduating players from that championship core – Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Joaqui Manuel – together.
Only Belangel and Credo stayed in Ateneo, however, while Ildefonso and Manuel transferred to NU and De La Salle University, respectively.
Even so, Ildefonso said he has no regrets about his transfer. “I don’t think I made the wrong decision in switching schools. Whatever statement they were sending me, I didn’t get it,” he said after being told about Coach Tab’s words.
The super rookie went on to re-emphasize that he wanted to make an immediate impact for whichever team he was joining – and he wouldn’t have been able to do that with the fully loaded defending champion Blue Eagles. “Isipin mo, si SJ, limited minutes. Kung nag-stay ako dun, mas lalo na ako, mas limited,” he shared.
He then continued, “I think I made the right decision, Coach Tab, and I’ll see you soon.”
Looking at the stat sheet, Belangel, the top senior of the most recent graduating class, only played 12 minutes for Ateneo.
Still, Ildefonso made it clear that he harbors no ill will towards his former school. Asked if he’s looking forward to the next NU-Ateneo matchup, he answered, “I’m not thinking about that. I’m just thinking about Adamson next and trying to bounce back.”
Indeed, all that’s on the mind of the 18-year-old is moving forward from his four-point performance. “Part din naman ‘to ng (buhay) ng athletes, ups and downs. Babawi naman talaga ako,” he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.