DAVE Ildefonso may still be in the freezer until next season, but he's wasting no time getting acquainted with his new teammates in Ateneo.
He's in fact already developing a bond with Dwight Ramos in this Gilas Pilipinas pool.
The balik-Ateneo player from National University relishes the opportunity to work with Ramos as they both earn their stripes as part of the Gilas pool for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.
"Dwight is a great player," he said. "Kita mo sa laro niya and he's really an all-around player. Pwede siya ng one to four eh and he's just like me na versatile."
Ramos is set to make his Blue Eagles debut later this year come UAAP Season 83, while Ildefonso is still redshirting this year before being cleared next season.
But this early, hype is already building up that the future looks so bright for the defending champions.
Ildefonso, however, isn't just upbeat about Ramos alone as he sees the holdovers, especially his ex-Blue Eaglets teammate SJ Belangel, seizing the opportunity after the departure of Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, and twins Matt and Mike Nieto.
"This season, this is SJ's team," he said, even daring to say that Belangel is bound to earn a Mythical Team selection.
"Seeing SJ play, bumabalik na yung form niya. He bled for minutes, but he waited it out and look what it has got him. It's really fortunate that he's getting what he deserves and he's gonna blow out this season."
That makes the wait all the more harder for Ildefonso, who can't wait to be on the floor with his new teammates in Ateneo.
"To be able to play with Dwight and SJ, along with Ange (Kouame) and Geo Chiu, I'm excited to be able to team up with them, lalo na yung iba doon naging teammate ko na naman din before," he said.