RK Ilagan's move to Blackwater sets a reunion of sorts with teammates from a the Alaska squad.
Ilagan was picked 31st overall in the PBA Season 46 draft. He eventually became the last player to be drafted by the Alaska franchise before it was sold to Converge early in 2022.
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“Hindi naman po ganun kahirap,” said the 25-year-old Ilagan when asked about adjustments. “Nandiyan ‘yung mga kuya ko sa Alaska, Kuya JVee at Kuya Gab. Tinutulungan nila ako kung paano mag-adjust, binibigyan ako reminders.”
Ilagan is now with a new team just a conference after a solid showing with the FiberXers where he averaged 9.6 points and 3.1 assists. The former San Sebastian standout said he is keeping a positive attitude in the trade.
“Masaya kasi gusto ako ng bagong team ko,” Ilagan said. “I’m grateful to them na binibigyan nila ako ng chance to play kung ano ang gusto ko. Masaya ako.”
“At first, siyempre meron,” said Ilagan when asked if he felt disappointed with the trade. “Kasi mga teammates ko, mga ka-close ko talaga. Iniisip ko na lang na another opportunity ito na makapaglaro ako. Grateful ako na nasa PBA pa rin.”
Ilagan will most likely be backing up point guard Baser Amer, but is also capable of sharing the floor with him with his potent offensive weapon. Ilagan said he wants to learn from Amer.
“Kailangan ko talaga makabisado si Kuya Baser. Si Kuya Baser, matalino sa loob. Ang dami niyang nakikita. ‘Yun ang gusto ko rin makita para at least, alam ko ang gusto niyang gawin,” said Ilagan.
Over the course of his young PBA career, Ilagan has yet to miss the playoffs. This conference, Ilagan said he likes the chances of Blackwater, a team that missed the Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals, to advance after the eliminations.
“I think may chance talaga kami kasi nandiyan pa si Kuya Troy. Hinihintay pa namin. Mag-stick lang kami sa communication namin at pagiging together namin, doon kami makakakuha ng lakas,” said Ilagan.