DANNY Ildefonso holds high hopes for teen prodigy Kai Sotto who the two-time PBA MVP is set to take under his wings in his new role as the big man coach of the Ateneo juniors basketball team.
After spending time supporting sons Shaun and Dave from the stands, the PBA great is set to mentor the young bigs of the Blue Eaglets, including Sotto who is oozing with potential thanks to his towering height at such a young age.
What strikes Ildefonso the most about his 13-year-old student is not the kid's 6-foot-9 height or anything physical, for that matter. Instead, in the week since taking on the mentorship role, he's been impressed particularly with Sotto's basketball mind and attitude.
“Ang maganda sa bata, mataas ang IQ sa basketball. Maganda ang attitude nung bata,” said Ildefonso, who incidentally played with Kai's father Ervin back when they were still with San Miguel.
However, Ildefonso urged basketball observers to be patient with Sotto’s development, stressing the Blue Eaglets rookie is still a teenager who still needs to bulk up.
“Antayin na lang talaga natin lumaki ang katawan,” he said.
The former San Miguel and Meralco big man, largely credited with the development of two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo back when they were teammates, is also looking forward to impart his knowledge, not just on Sotto, but other Ateneo bigs.
“Maganda magturo kasi future bigs ng Philippine basketball ‘to,” said Ildefonso.