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    What Tab Baldwin told Dave Ildefonso to regain timely touch vs UP

    Nov 27, 2022
    Dave Ildefonso Ateneo vs UP
    Dave Ildefonso was glad to receive 'Tab Baldwin wisdom' amid his early shooting struggles against the Maroons.
    PHOTO: UAAP Season 85 Media Team

    DAVE Ildefonso wouldn't hide the fact that he struggled in the first half of Ateneo's game against University of the Philippines as he missed all of his first seven shots.

    Dave Ildefonso on Ateneo vs UP

    But what kept the second-generation star going was the unflappable trust that coach Tab Baldwin has on him.

    "I think what really helped me out was when coach Tab really pulled me aside and just talked to me, just gave me some Tab Baldwin wisdom which I always am welcome to receive," he said.

    "He just told me to just have fun. It's a big moment, it's a big game, so many people are watching, and he told me that he just has so much belief in me, and he told me that he's gonna have my back whatever happens. I told him that I'd have his back, too. That just helped me out."

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    It's that relationship between the player and the coach which has led to the Blue Eagles' success late in the second round of the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament.

    That's no different on Saturday, with Ildefonso soon finding his groove and scoring 12 of his 15 points in the third quarter, on top of seven rebounds as he guided Ateneo to a 75-67 win over UP.

    And he only has Baldwin to thank for it.

    "The caliber of coach that he is and just hearing that from a great coach like him, it just ups your confidence by a thousand percent," he said.

    Baldwin, though, argued that it's no rocket science and putting your full belief in someone like Ildefonso really isn't that hard.

    What he's willing to praise, though, was how the 6-foot guard has played through adversity on and off the court.

    "Dave is dealing with a lot of pressure from a lot of different angles, I should say. And, I did tell him -- I did tell him that no matter what, he's my guy," the stern mentor said.

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    "There's not an incident that can happen that backs me off of this guy. I've grown to know him over the last three years, and this is a man of true character. This is a man of real substance, as a human being. He can go out there and play like a dog, he doesn't lose one thing from me. But he won't."

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      For his part, Ildefonso is just raring to show what he's made of, regardless if it's UP or any other foe, and help contribute to the Blue Eagles' goals of scaling back to the top of the summit.

      "I just try to keep my head down and just keep working, and just try to get the shots that I can take," he said. "And just keep moving on. Confidence-wise, this game is really gonna help me. And it's really gonna help the team."

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      Dave Ildefonso was glad to receive 'Tab Baldwin wisdom' amid his early shooting struggles against the Maroons.
      PHOTO: UAAP Season 85 Media Team
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