ITS déjà vu for returning Converge big man Danny Ildefonso in the PBA Governors Cup playoffs where he gets to face former team San Miguel.
Ildefonso up against the Beermen certainly is an interesting side bar in the quarterfinals which formally kicks off on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
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The match up was sealed after San Miguel claimed the No. 2 seed on Friday behind a 129-116 blowout win over Rain or Shine at the conclusion of the elimination phase.
The FiberXers meanwhile, fell to No. 7 after losing their last three outings.
Ildefonso, the former two-time MVP of San Miguel, came out of an eight-year retirement two weeks ago to help fast-track the development of Converge’s young big men.
And while the 46-year-old native of Urdaneta, Pangasinan refused to be drawn in the limelight of having to play his former team in the playoffs, basketball fans can’t help but have their eyes fixed on both parties given the way they parted ways a few years ago.
Ildefonso served as cornerstone of San Miguel’s eight championships from 1999 to 2011, before conspicuously being released in 2013 after reportedly getting at odds with team management.
He was later tapped as a free agent by Meralco, where he played for a full season, before being released in the 2014 Expansion Draft and ended up being picked by Blackwater.
Ildefonso never suited up for the Bossing and instead, returned to Meralco and played for another season before finally deciding to hang up his jersey in 2015.
It was during his stay with the San Miguel franchise that Ildefonso established his legendary career, winning two MVPs along the way, three Finals MVP, five Best Player of the Conference, two Mythical First Team, eight All-Stars appearances, while winning a total of eight championships.
He was the no. 1 overall selection in the 1998 draft by Formula Shell before being acquired by San Miguel in a trade for no.2 pick Noy Castillo.
At the tail end of his career, he took then rookie June Mar Fajardo under his wings and developed him into the agile big man that he is today.
Too bad, the 6-foot-11 Fajardo won't be around for the playoffs as he continued to recover from an MCL injury,