ONE Ildefonso faces an uncertain future while another Ildefonso's career is off to a bright start.
While longtime PBA star Danny Ildefonso's career remains in limbo after his break-up with Petron, his son Shaun took a big step in his young career when he was recruited to join Ateneo's Blue Eaglets.
The former Lourdes School of Mandaluyong standout has been impressing the coaching staff of the Eaglets that assistant coach Bacon Austria told Spin.ph he feels the young Ildefonso has the makings of a great player.
They Said It!
"Magaling 'yan. Mahusay. Malakas. Matapang. Saka mabilis matuto. Prized catch yan." - Ateneo Blue Eaglet assistant coach Bacon Austria
“Magaling 'yan. Mahusay. Malakas. Matapang. Saka mabilis matuto. Prized catch yan,” said Austria, member of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ five-peat champion squad and son of veteran coach Leo.
The young Ildefonso is 16 and already stands 6-foot-1. He mostly plays the small forward and power forward positions and has this early shown glimpses of the skills of his famous dad.
Austria expects his game to evolve, depending on how tall he grows to be.
“Magaling gumalaw yan. Saka may dribble. Importante yun for a big man. Kaya sana lumaki pa siya nang husto. Bata pa naman yan, lalaki pa yan,” added Austria.
Here's a video of full interview with Shaun Ildefonso:
That he plays like dad is no surprise, of course.
“Opo, tinuturuan po ako ni daddy, gaya po ng ginagawa niya kila kuya June Mar (Fajardo),” said the young Ildefonso, who has his dad’s chinky eyes and engaging smile.
Shaun said he wants to follow in his dad's footsteps - and hopefully surpass his achievements.
“Yun po talaga ang pangarap ko. Ang makapaglaro sa PBA at lagpasan pa ang achievement niya, pero as much as possible gusto ko talaga maging katulad niya,” he added.
His father, a two-time PBA MVP, is of course Shaun's biggest hero - the reason he is unhappy with the current status of dad's career after a 15-year stay at Petron/ San Miguel came to a sudden and abrupt end.
“Alam naman natin na wala pa rin siyang PBA team ulit up to now. Sana magkaroon na siya. Alam ko naman he still wants to play pa rin … and I know he still can,” said the younger Ildefonso.
But the young cager was quick to add his dad’s present situation does have a positive side.
“Kasi po ngayon na wala siyang team, nagkakaroon siya ng time na manood sa practice namin. Tapos tinutulungan niya kami. Gusto niya kami turuan gaya ng ginagawa niya kay June Mar,” he said.
“Lagi niyang sinasabi sa amin na alam na niya ang ganito at ganun … so malaking tulong talaga,” added Shaun.
The new Blue Eaglet sees his being the son of Ildefonso as an advantage rather as added pressure.
“Mas masaya nga ako eh. Kasi may recall agad ako. Syempre, Ildefonso ang bitbit ko na apelyido,” he said, beaming with pride.
Asked if he believes his dad will stage a comeback in the PBA, the son sounded optimistic.
“Oo naman. Yun ang pinagdadasal namin ngayon. Sana makakuha na siya ng team at makalaro ulit. Alam ko yun ang wish niya,” said Ildefonso before he ran to join his teammates in practice.