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Pia Ildefonso exits Ateneo team citing unaddressed controversy with Forthsky Padrigao

Pia Ildefonso, a prominent figure in Philippine volleyball, has publicly addressed her decision to part ways with the Ateneo team. In a candid interview with MEGA, a leading fashion magazine, Ildefonso revealed that the school’s lack of action over a scandal involving basketball star Forthsky Padrigao served as the catalyst for her departure.

Ildefonso, a celebrated athlete hailing from a family of sports personalities, is the daughter of Philippine Basketball Association icon Danny Ildefonso and the sibling of burgeoning basketball talents Dave and Shaun Ildefonso. She expressed her disillusionment with the institution, stating that she felt unsupported and unrepresented by a school that failed to “fight” for her.

Ildefonso’s sentiments towards her situation were poignant, as she shared with MEGA, “I no longer wanted to be involved because it’s not fulfilling anymore. Training would be mentally draining for me because I kept thinking over and over if it’s still right to be there because he [Padrigao] was still there. I can’t represent a school that didn’t fight for me.”

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The controversy involving Padrigao, who has since also severed ties with Ateneo, pertains to the circulation of private videos. Padrigao previously shared his perspective on the incident with Rappler last August, expressing remorse and issuing an apology to those affected.

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In the months leading up to her departure, Ildefonso took to social media to voice her stance on the matter. Her posts highlighted the importance of consent and fidelity, stating that it’s “never right to cheat on your partner” and it’s “never right to spread and leak any personal content of your friends without their consent.”

The fallout from this controversy led Ildefonso to make a significant career shift. She chose to leave collegiate sports behind and transition into the professional sphere, joining the Farm Fresh Foxies team in the Premier Volleyball League.

Speaking about her new team, Ildefonso said, “With Farm Fresh Foxies, it’s a fresh start for me – a fresh environment. And what I really appreciate is the warm welcome. They accepted me with no judgment.”

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Ildefonso, who stands at 5-foot-9 and plays as a middle blocker, had previously revealed that her decision to leave the Ateneo Blue Eagles was not an easy one. In fact, she described it as the “toughest decision” of her life.

Despite the challenges, Ildefonso remains resolute and optimistic about her future. She expressed her determination to continue growing and battling life’s trials, asserting that she’s “choosing to face, fight, and grow through life’s battles outside the sport I love most.”

This story serves as a stark reminder of the personal and professional challenges athletes often face, and the courage it takes to make difficult decisions in the face of adversity. Pia Ildefonso’s journey is a testament to her resilience and commitment to her values, both on and off the court.

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