DANNY Ildefonso found himself torn between two sides in the current UAAP Season 77 juniors basketball finals.
Ildefonso’s son Shaun has reached the finals in his rookie year with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets. However, standing in the way of Shaun’s dreams of winning a UAAP crown in his first try is National University, the same school his dad played for during his college days.
“Mahirap kasi hindi ako makapag-cheer,” said the two-time PBA MVP, who was in attendance in Game One of the UAAP finals on Friday at the San Juan Arena.
Although caught in between, Ildefonso said he wants the best for his son in the UAAP finals, a reason why he is even more nervous watching Shaun on the basketball court than when actually playing.
“Mas kinakabahan ako dahil ako ‘yung nanonood tapos finals pa at first championship (series) pa niya sa high school,” said Ildefonso, who after the interview he granted with Spin.ph was also spotted talking to a few NU players after their 76-72 win over the Blue Eaglets.
Shaun posted an average of 5.3 points and 5.0 rebounds during the elimination round in his rookie season with the Blue Eaglets, who completed a sweep to gain thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals.
The former NU big man said he kept things simple as he adviced his son ahead of his first championship series appearance.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanya na kung ano ‘yung naitulong niya nung eliminations, ganun lang ang gawin niya. Kung ano ‘yung pinapagawa sa kanya, rebound at depensa, gawin niya. Kung kaya niya i-shoot, gawin niya,” said Ildefonso.
But more importantly, Danny I. told Shaun to just relax as he plays in his first televised game.
“Relax lang kasi ngayon lang sila na-TV,” said the elder Ildefonso.
Asked about his thoughts on Game One, the Urdaneta, Pangasinan native said NU's stint in the stepladder playoff turned out to be to its advantage as the Bullpups went to the finals with a lot of momentum.
“Medyo nawala lang ‘yung momentum ng Ateneo. Naging pabor sa NU ‘yung tuluy-tuloy silang naglaro. Hindi naman sila napagod kahit tuluy-tuloy ‘yung laro nila,” said Ildefonso.