A TEXT message from Ramon Ang's chief of staff was all it took for Danny Ildefonso to realize that his days as the longtime star of San Miguel Corporation's ballclub in the PBA have come to a bitter end.
Before that, Lakay, as he is called by his peers, has earned the ire of higher ups of the mighty SMC group for being critical of management's key decisions in the trade of Dondon Hontiveros in 2011 and the sacking of head coach Olsen Racela last season.
In this era of social networking where everyone has been given the green light to announce to the whole world even a trip to the rest room, Ildefonso was seen as a loud mouth in SMC's scheme of things.
Left without a team at the start of the current PBA season, the two-time PBA MVP bawled like a child for two months and lived in utter bitterness towards the only team he had played for in his 15-year career.
But then he collected himself and prayed that he be given a final shot at glory.
Lakay's prayers were answered by Meralco which decided to give Ildefonso a new lease on life, granting the Pangasinense's wish for a graceful ending to a Hall of Fame-bound career.
Still, Danny I admitted the humbling experience and shocking exit from Petron served as an "awakening" from above, both for his career and his personal life.
"Inaamin ko na rin dati, talagang mataas na rin yung tingin ko sa sarili ko," said Ildefonso. "Pero ngayon salamat sa Diyos ginising niya ko.
"Laking pasalamat ko sa Diyos kasi dati, parang nadadamay ko na rin sa asawa ko, sa mga anak ko sa sobrang paniniwala ko sa sarili ko."
Danny said he has learned his lessons well, adding, "Dapat talaga lahat ping-iisipan bago magsalita. Mali ko talaga na hindi ko na lang diniretso sa management 'yung hinanakit ko."
Now he can only hope that time will heal the wounds he inflicted on his former team.
In the meantime, Ildefonso has been like a man reborn since his return, winning Player of the Week honors after his debut for his new team and holding his own against former student June Mar Fajardo last Saturday (17 points eight rebounds and five assists) in a losing effort against Petron.
Those numbers are surely not bad at all for someone who just wanted to show to his family he could still play the game he loves so much.
In Danny I's case, God may have closed the door but He raised the roof.