FOR Danny ildefonso, the thought that Meralco had enough faith in him to sign him up even for just a conference is already a strong indication there are still those who believe he can play competitive basketball.
The two-time PBA MVP attended only his fourth practice with the Bolts on Friday after being tapped by the franchise in an effort to boost its sagging campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup, which saw the team finish 2013 with four straight losses to fall to 3-7.
“Feeling ko, parang rookie uli ako kasi syempre, bago lang ako sa team,” Ildefonso told Spin.ph after the team practice at the Meralco gym on Friday.
They Said It!
“Feeling ko, parang rookie uli ako..." - Two-time PBA MVP Danny Ildefonso who recently signed with the Meralco Bolts
With the 15-year veteran out of National University on board, Meralco hopes to turn its fortune around starting with the game against the Air21 Express on Saturday.
Ildefonso said he was happy to see some former foes become his `allies’ this time led by Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, along with veteran big men Don Allado and Reynel Hugnatan.
For his first game in a Meralco uniform, Ildefonso said his role is to simplify the game for his teammates and hopefully, shooters like Gary David and John Wilson will get their usual scoring numbers to help the Bolts snap out of a four-game losing skein.
“Sana maka-adjust lang agad ako sa team kasi two months din ako nabakante. Ang kagandahan lang sa pagiging beterano, alam mo na saan ka makakatulong at mapadali yung laro sa mga teammates mo,” he added.
Ildefonso said he holds no ill feelings towards former team Petron, the only franchise he played for in his first 15 seasons in the league before being dropped out of the team’s official roster on November 30, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The 37-year-old big man considers this new turn in his career a gift from above, saying it was something he and wife Ren has prayed for since his acrimonious parting of ways with the San Miguel franchise.
“Importance lang sa akin ngayon eh `yung nakapasok na ako sa team ng Meralco. Si God na talaga ang nag-open ng door para magkaroon pa ako ng ibang team," he said.
"Ang sarap lang talaga ng feeling kasi may team pa rin na nagtiwala sa akin. Kaya sa akin naman, sisikapin ko lang na ibigay ang best ko at maging professional,” he said.
“Gusto ko lang suklian `yung tiwalang binigay nila sa akin.”