IF there’s one person who’s definitely happy at seeing Danny Ildefonso playing again for his new-found `family’, it’s no other than his wife Ren.
Mrs. Ildefonso came all the way to the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night to cheer and support her husband in his debut game for Meralco in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup.
Ren brought along the whole family and even wore an orange blouse to match the color of Meralco’s playing jersey.
Together with children Shau, Sofia, Dave, Sym, and Sam, the Ildefonso family even brought with them a huge poster that had the words "God is good, Lakay is back' printed on it.
"Super happy sinasabi ko nga 'yung first game niya parang rookie year niya ulit kasi in a span of almost two months wala siyang laro," she said after the game which the Bolts won in overtime against Air21, 92-88.
"So super excited at the same time, kinakabahan kami kasi new team, but we're happy naman (and) we are so blessed to see him play again kita mo nga ang dami namin.
"And nakita ko naman sa spirit niya na gustung-gusto niya manalo ngayon, kaya tuwang-tuwa kami sa nangyari sa game," added the charming wife of the two-time league MVP.
The game marked the first time Ildefonso played for another PBA team after spending his first 15 years donning the jersey of the San Miguel franchise.
Ren could not contain her happiness as she shared to Spin.ph that two months after her husband became an unrestricted free agent when he was released by Petron, Ildefonso has gained a new bond with his current teammates.
"Ang kwento niya sa akin super ganda naman, super warm welcome naman siya sa Meralco," said Ren. "Ang sabi niya nga kung sa dati niyang team ang tawag sa kanya 'Idol,' ngayon naman daw 'Kuya' so parang sandali muna, konti lang naman ang age gap natin."
"Pero nakakatuwa kasi they see a relationship, eh 'di ba pag 'Idol' kasi someone that you look up to. Dito naman ang nangyari relationship, family, and I'm hoping na 'yung leadership naman niya, ganoon naman talaga siya, he's known to being like that - a leader, and being a blessing to the team 'yun naman talaga ang pinagpe-pray namin," she added.
"Yun din ang sinabi sa kanya na ang ganda pala pag wala kang nagawang masama sa ibang tao, so kahit saan siya magpunta ganoon ang welcome sa kanya kasi hindi naman siya naging masama sa kahit sinong player."
Ren, however, did not sugar coat what Ildefonso felt the past two months that he was without a team.
"'Yun naman ang gusto niya mangyari ang makapaglaro pa rin talaga," she said. "And nakakatuwa lang na na-prove niya na kaya niya pa pala. Kasi dati inisip niya na, 'Ah ano na lang ako kung kailangan lang, pero ngayon kahit medyo matagal-tagal pala pwede pa. And we never thought na ganon kahaba ang playing time niya."
Ildefonso saw action for 29 minutes and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Ren she said the family had already accepted what happened and moved on.
"It's a different thing we we're given that two months to clear everything out, so ngayon maganda, masaya," she said.
"I think it's a blessing sa amin lalo na kay Danilo," she said. "Kaya we are thankful for Meralco kasi` yung faith and trust in him buo, so kaya naman si Danilo ganon din siya kasi he sees something in the team na pinapag-katiwalaan siya kaya masarap maglaro siguro ngayong gabi."
For Ren, her 37-year-old husband no longer needs to prove anything.
"Yan 'yung iniwan niya after he signed up ang sabi niya nga ibabalik ko ng maganda 'yung tiwalang binigay nila sa akin. And we're praying na hindi niya masisira 'yun kundi mafu-fulfill niya 'yon. Kasi he started naman maganda naman, so we're just praying for continuity and consistency," said Mrs. Ildefonso.
"Pero actually ang sabi ko naman sa asawa ko wala na siya kailangan i-prove, kung magaling pa ba siya, kung makaka-shoot pa ba siya, makaka-rebound pa ba siya, ang sa kanya kasi more on the fulfillment side na after 15 years of playing kung kaya ko pa ba? Kaya ko pa bang tapusin ng maganda 'yung career ko?
“So for him it's not really competing at all sa tao or para i-prove 'yung sabihin ng iba. Para sa kanya it's more of self fulfillment na kaya ko pa at matatapos ko ng maganda 'yung career ko,” added Ren.