UAAP: Forthsky Padrigao, Dave Ildefonso get their bearings back after tough loss
MANILA, Philippines — Forthsky Padrigao and Dave Ildefonso made up for their lethargic showing from their previous loss to La Salle as the pair joined hands to bring back Ateneo’s winning ways in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
After their frustrating defeat to La Salle for the first time in five years, Padrigao bounced back and tallied a new career-high 20 points to go with eight assists, five steals, and three rebounds in Ateneo’s 79-52 victory over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Ildefonso was also instrumental with 10 points, nine rebounds, and six dimes, despite his 3-of-12 shooting for the Blue Eagles’ third win in four games.
The 22-year-old winger shared the Blue Eagles had a long meeting after he and Padrigao combined for just 5-of-32 shooting from the field and missed big shots in their 83-78 loss to La Salle on Sunday.
“After the loss, the locker room wasn’t really great. The practice after, we had a really long meeting, which we really loved. Which we loved. Three hours, almost. Two and a half, but I wish it was almost four hours. But yeah, it was just a great talk, and we just pulled each other together and really identified the problems that we had especially in that game,” said Ildefonso. “Thankfully, Coach Tab is saying that we’re making strides towards actually solving those problems.”
Baldwin lauded Padrigao and Ildefonso for taking the leadership role, showing the way for the Blue Eagles in the second half to outrun the Growling Tigers.
“In the second half, these two guys sitting on either side of me stepped up in the leadership role, and Dave started to hit some shots, which I knew that he really wanted to after the first half. All of a sudden, we started to play better, and then the score kinda blew out a little bit,” the Ateneo coach said. “It was a good win for us, in the end, against a team that really had the fighting spirit today.”
Padrigao, who shrugged off the welt on his right eye in leading the Blue Eagles, said they just responded after coach Tab Baldwin lamented their deficiencies and lack of composure last game.
“Like what Coach Tab said, we really need to decide what’s the right thing to do. I think we showed it in the game with the help of my teammates. We just wanna be a better team than we were last game and towards our next games,” said Padrigao in Filipino.
Ildefonso is glad that they were able to bounce back from a tough loss, ahead of Ateneo’s finals rematch against defending champion University of the Philippines on Sunday.
“We’re happy that we got the win after a loss, and as Coach Tab said, the first half wasn’t really pretty but we were getting good shots. So we just have to make the good shots that we generate off our great offense,” he said.