DAVE Ildefonso knew he messed up big time in Game One.
Playing in his first UAAP Finals game in the seniors level, the second-generation star's six turnovers overshadowed his six points, nine rebounds, and four assists as Ateneo suffered the 81-74 loss to University of the Philippines last Sunday.
"I messed up really bad in Game One," he lamented.
But this being the Blue Eagles, Ildefonso knew he had no other choice but to pick himself up and atone for the letdown.
The 6-foot guard sure did, delivering 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals in Ateneo's 69-66 Game Two win over UP on Wednesday that equalized the best-of-three Finals series and set up the decider.
More importantly, he chopped his miscues down by half to three in his 29 minutes on the floor.
And a big reason for that is the unwavering confidence that Ildefonso gets from coach Tab Baldwin.
"Thankfully coach Tab and the other coaches really helped me calm down and have a different mindset in Game Two," he said of his post-game conversation with the American-Kiwi mentor.
"I had a different mindset and coach Tab just really talked me down. I just really asked for help because I didn’t know what to do, and the luxury of being by coach Tab is you could always approach him and you can always ask and you can just put your hands up in the air and just ask, 'What do I do coach?' And I’m just thankful for the time of coach Tab and the coaching staff that we have. It's a great program that we’re in."
"Just play in the moment. Every possession, every quarter, we just gotta take it one step at a time. Thankfully, I got less turnovers in this game and I think that's because of coach Tab."
Ildefonso and the rest of the Blue Eagles get their date with destiny on Friday for the winner-take-all Game Three.
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