DAVE Ildefonso feels blessed to have a two-time PBA MVP to guide him every step of the way in his basketball career.
The 16-year-old is coming off a breakout season with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets in the UAAP Season 79 juniors basketball tournament where his PBA legend/ dad Danny Ildefonso was not only with him at home but also on the bench in his role as big man's coach.
“Nabigyan ako ng trust ng coaching staff, dahil kay (Ateneo) coach Joe Silva, at tinutukan ako ng tatay ko sa practices at nakapag-improve ako,” said the young Ildefonso.
Constant practices and guidance from his dad has paid off for Dave, who averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks for a Blue Eaglets side that got as far as the playoffs.
He was soon rewarded with a place in the Mythical Five alongside Ateneo teammate SJ Belangel and season MVP Juan Gomez de Liano of University of the Philippines Integrated School as well as invitations to the NBTC All-Star Game and the SLAM Rising Stars Classic.
No one was prouder than his dad.
“Siyempre, laking tuwa ko. Kahit papaano, ‘yung Mythical Five, tataas ang morale at kumpiyansa niya. Sana magtuluy-tuloy,” said the elder Ildefonso, who has since left Ateneo to take on an assistant coach role at alma mater National University.
At 6-2, Dave is a versatile wingman and therefore plays a different position than his dad. But the advice he gives are invaluable, the Blue Eaglets standout said.
“Napagsasabihan agad ako niya kung ano mali ko at ‘yung mga kailangan ko pa i-practice,” said Dave. “Ang advice niya, unang una, wag magrereklamo sa referee at sumunod sa coaching staff."