By Jonas Terrado
Dave Ildefonso can now shift his focus back to basketball after weeks processing his transfer from National University to Ateneo.
Dave Ildefonso (FIBA images, File)
Ildefonso, who will play for Mighty Sports Philippines in this week’s Dubai Invitational Basketball Tournament, made headlines when he decided to leave Sampaloc after two seasons to head back to Loyola where he suited up as a high school standout.
“Nakahinga na rin,” the son of PBA great Danny Ildefonso said. “Just really taking it one game at a time. It’s gonna be a long process but I’m up for the challenge and I’m back to where I am naman e.”
The 19-year-old will sit out a year before being eligible to don the Blue Eagles jersey in the 2021 UAAP season.
For now, Ildefonso’s focus is to try to help Mighty improve on last year’s third place finish in the Dubai tournament slated Jan. 23 to Feb. 1.
“Dati iniisip ko na baka hindi na ako pumunta ng Dubai dahil nag-iisip pa ako pero ngayon nakapagdecide na ako, maseset-aside ko na yan at makakafocus na ako sa Dubai,” he said.
What excites Ildefonso is to be able to play alongside some of the best players in the amateurs, talented reinforcements and veterans.
He’ll also be teammates with some of his father’s former teammates.
“Marami akong matututunan sa mga veterans, lalong-lalo na si Tito Joseph Yeo at saka si Balkman kasi palagi ko silang napapanood pag kasama nila si Tatay, kasi nagkasabay pa sila at nanonood lang ako sa practices at sa games,” Ildefonso said.
“Parang mapapaisip ako na ang bilis ng panahon, parang di mo aakalain na magkakasabay-sabay pa. Minsan lang ang opportunity na to e, siyempre grateful ako kay coach Charles (Tiu) at sa Mighty na na-consider nila ako para dito,” he added.