DANNY Ildefonso acknowledges his PBA career is nearing its end, and among the things he wants to be able to do before finally calling it quits is to play at the Philippine Arena.
The former MVP, entering his 17th year as a pro, counts it as a blessing to still be able to witness the league’s opening of the 40th season at the newly-built stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
With over 40,000 fans turning up at the arena owned by the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Ildefonso said he was overwhelmed just with the idea of playing in what is reputedly the biggest domed arena in the world.
“Siyempre, gusto ko rin maglaro pa sana dito, kasi iba naman yung experience ng opening at saka iba rin kasi yung maglaro ka dito,” the 37-year-old Meralco forward told Spin.ph on Sunday just moments after league chairman Patrick Gregorio declared the season open.
Now back at Meralco after being picked in the expansion draft - and later left unsigned - by Blackwater, the 6-foot-5 Idefonso hopes the Bolts would have the chance to play in the Bulacan venue soon.
“Ang daming tao, saka ang ganda nitong arena na ito. At least masasabi ko sa mga taong magtatanong sa akin na nakapunta ako dito, and sana makalaro din ako,” he added.
The former NU Bulldogs star inked a one-year pact with the Bolts and is hopeful he could contribute right away for the team, which is on rebuilding mode under new coach Norman Black.
Ildefonso, a two-time league MVP, averaged just 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21 games for Meralco last season.