Baldwin puts Ildefonso, other recruits on notice: Ateneo is ‘right place to be’
Ateneo lobbied heavily to keep Dave Ildefonso in Katipunan but the former Blue Eaglet star opted to go somewhere else and join his father and older brother at National University.
But after Ateneo handed NU a 72-46 whipping on Saturday night, Blue Eagles coach Tab Baldwin said he wanted Ildefonso to “rethink” the decision he made six months ago.
“Dave, as everybody knows, was a very valued recruit for Ateneo and we ended up not getting him,” Baldwin told reporters. “And I think we wanted Dave to rethink that decision or perhaps in hindsight, wonder why he made that decision.”
The Blue Eagles made it tough for Ildefonso, who struggled mightily with just four points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field with three turnovers after coming into the game averaging 17.5 points against University of Santo Tomas and La Salle.
Baldwin said Ateneo’s masterful defensive performance against the Bulldogs and Ildefonso is also a notice to the Eagles’ future recruits.
“We want the next recruit who’s in that position to remember today and we’ll continue to put performances on the court that hope that all of our recruits take note and think that this is the right place to be because they don’t wanna be on the other side.”
The 18-year-old Ildefonso, who was an integral part of the Blue Eaglets’ championship run last season, said he’s not having any second thoughts.
“Well, I don’t think I made a wrong decision in switching schools and whatever statement they were sending me, I didn’t get it,” Ildefonso, whose father Danny serves as NU assistant coach while his brother Shaun also plays for the Bulldogs, told reporters.
Playing major minutes, Ildefonso quickly emerged as the Bulldogs’ best player, something the 6-foot-3 forward felt that isn’t going to be the case if he had chosen to suit up for the Blue Eagles.
“SJ is playing limited minutes and I would’ve even played lesser minutes had I stayed there,” said Ildefonso, referring to his former high school teammate SJ Belangel, who remained in Ateneo. “So I think I made the right decision. Coach Tab, right decision and see you soon.”