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    Meralco pursuit of Ildefonso hinges largely on fitness of big man Raymundo

    Dec 2, 2013

    MERALCO has yet to commit to signing veteran Danny Ildefonso, who became a free agent just last weekend after he was officially released by Petron, team manager Butch Antonio said.

    Antonio admitted making an inquiry on the availability of Ildefonso, the former two-time league MVP who has spent his entire 15-year career with the San Miguel-owned ballclub before becoming an unrestricted free agent on Saturday.

    “Pinag-iisipan, pero nothing final. Siyempre, naging free agent na siya (Ildefonso),” Antonio told Spin.ph.

    Antonio said it might be too early to go deep in negotiations with the 36-year-old former Petron star while the Bolts wait for the green light to activate veteran forward Kerby Raymundo from the injury list.

    “I think they (top-level management) are in touch, but nothing concrete. Pakiramdaman lang muna,” said the Bolts official. “Right now, okay naman kami sa lineup because there is talent. But we’re still working on our chemistry.”

    Antonio, the former Gilas Pilipinas team manager, said Meralco will be getting a feedback from team doctors to see if the 6-foot-5 Raymundo will be ready to play in the coming weeks.

    “May Kerby pa tayong hinihintay. So this week, we’ll get feedback because Kerby is doing rehab,” he added.

    Ildefonso, who turns 37 next week, has been in limbo since the start of the league’s 39th season after being left out of Petron’s official roster for the Philippine Cup.

    He became an unrestricted free agent on Saturday when he was informed through a text message that Petron would not be offering him a new contract.

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    Weeks before that, he was told not to report to practice days before the start of the season after earning the ire of team management for his frank comments on coaches and players’ movement made by the franchise over the past few years.

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