RK Ilagan may be one of the team captains now, but he's not letting his new role get into his head.
For the sweet-shooting guard, it's all a matter of him doing his role.
"Di po pumapasok talaga sa ulo ko na ganoon ako. Kailangan ko lang talaga mag-lead sa kanila hindi sa maling paraan. Kumbaga, mula sa mga ensayo namin, kailangan lahat kami naguusap," he said.
Ilagan did show his leadership by action as he guided Valencia City Bukidnon-SSCR to a 75-53 win over Chadao-FEU on Monday in the 2019 PBA D-League.
The 21-year-old caught fire and buried four triples in the payoff period, which was more than half of his 22-point output, on top of 10 rebounds and four assists to keep the Golden Harvest at the top of the Foundation Group at 2-0.
As much as he's seen as one of the leaders, Ilagan knows that it's not all on them as he, together with seniors Allyn Bulanadi and Alvin Capobres, still has to get valuable contributions from the other guys.
"Sa amin, alam namin na kailangan naming magtulungan kasi ang tendency talaga, sumisikip ang depensa sa amin. So ang usapan talaga, share the ball at gawin yung mga maliliit na bagay," he said.
It also serves as a motivation for Ilagan to make up for the blunders he did in the past.
He was caught playing in a ligang labas days before the season started, which led to San Sebastian forfeiting its wins and him getting suspended for the entirety of the first round in NCAA Season 94.
"Yun ang nagsisilbing motivation sa akin, na kailangan kong bumawi ngayong taon," said Ilagan.
Now, he'd like to move on from that dark chapter of his career and build a new legacy in Recto.
"Kailangan po talagang mag-mature kaming lahat," he said, with the team starting its preparations in the developmental league.
"Sa amin, kailangang maglaro lang kami as a team at magkaisa kami. Hindi po porket 2-0 na kami, magiging kampante na kami."