Top-seed Blue Eaglets vow to go all out for NBTC title even without NU-bound Dave Ildefonso
The Blue Eaglets will not have one of its stars in Dave Ildefonso for the NBTC tournament. Marlo Cueto

ATENEO will be playing in the NBTC League this coming week without Dave Ildefonso and Joaqui Manuel.

Ateneo coach Joe Silva said Ildefonso has not been included in the Blue Eaglets line-up in order to avoid injuries as he is already committed to play for National University in the UAAP seniors division.

”I don’t think Dave Ildefonso will play. It’s better because he is with NU already. Baka ma-injure,” said Silva.

Silva said Manuel is nursing an injury.

In lieu of Ildefonso and Manuel is Forthsky Padrigao, a member of the Batang Gilas in last year’s Seaba Under-16 Championship who is about to complete his one-year residency with the Blue Eaglets after transferring from Adamson.

Silva said Padrigao has been practicing with the UAAP team even during the recently-concluded Season 80.

“Si Forthsky was practicing with us during the season. Alam niya ‘yung system. He is a smart kid,” said Silva.

UAAP Season 80 finals MVP Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, and Jason Credo are among the players from the Blue Eaglets in the NBTC as they vowed to go all out for the crown.

“Like I said, when we go to any tournament, we want to win the tournament regardless. Rest assured that we will do our best.

The Blue Eaglets are seeded No. 1 in the 32-team knockout format tournament.

“Actually, ‘yung mga bata nga ang nangungulit na nagsasabi sali tayo dito kasi we came off a two-week break. Ngayon lang uli kami nagpa-practice,” said Silva.

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