DANNY Ildefonso’s much-awaited debut with Blackwater won’t materialize after all.
The expansion club hoping to get a boost from a veteran and the former two-time MVP eyeing a career revival failed to meet halfway in contract negotiations. Now Ildefonso, picked by the Elite in the PBA expansion draft last July, is hoping to be reconsidered by former team Meralco.
“Humingi ako ng release ko kasi ayaw ko yung offer nila. Eh originally, ang usapan, kapag di kami nagkasundo sa usapan, iri-release na lang daw ako,” Ildefonso told Spin.ph on Monday.
The 6-foot-5 veteran forward was dropped to the unprotected list by Meralco just two weeks before the dispersal draft. His original contract with Meralco expired last weekend.
Ildefonso, who turns 38 this December, had his final practice with the team last week.
A five-time PBA Best Player of the Conference, Ildefonso explained that Blackwater won’t be short-changed in any way should the Elite management actually consider signing him at a price he asked.
For one, Ildefonso said aside from assuring them of his “100 percent” effort every game day and practice, he’ll also oversee the growth of Blackwater’s young frontcourt of incoming sophomore center JP Erram and second round rookie pick Frank Golla.
“Nagbitaw na din ako ng presyo ko na magiging masaya ako. Eh ang hiling ko lang naman yung di naman sila lugi at di rin naman ako lugi, kasi di lang naman basketball ang gagawin ko,” explained Ildefonso.
Ildefonso received P375,000 a month with Meralco last season, but he said Blackwater’s offer was way below the amount.
He refused to divulge how much the offer of Blackwater to him.
The former National University standout said he does not expect to get a salary near his previous pay from the Bolts, but all he was asking was something that’s fair for both parties.
“Basta di naman sobra ang hinihingi ko,” he added.
For the moment, the 16-year veteran said he’s hopeful that Meralco, now under coach Norman Black, will consider taking him in as a back-up big man.
Black had been replaced by Jong Uichico as Talk `N Text mentor.
But both coaches are currently busy in the Fiba World Cup in Spain, where Black and Uichico serve as assistants of national coach Chot Reyes.
Uichico was Ildefonso’s coach with the San Miguel franchise in a partnership that produced six league titles from 1999-2005
Ildefonso averaged 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21 games with the Bolts last season.