PURSUING his dream to represent the country has led Dave Ildefonso back to Ateneo.
The 19-year-old son of two-time PBA MVP Danny Ildefonso explained his decision to leave National University for a homecoming in Katipuban in an Instagram post on Monday, ending weeks of speculations on his future.
"I have made the decision to return to Ateneo to continue my basketball journey," he said in the lengthy post. "My biggest basketball dream has always been to represent the country in major international meets and I feel that this is the best path to that fulfillment of my dream."
Ildefonso has been a mainstay of the national youth team in the past, and even represented the country in the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece last year.
The 6-foot-3 guard believes his return to Katipunan further boosts his chance of making it to national team, especially with Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin set to formally assume the role of the program director for the seniors' team.
He has earlier been included in the youth-laden Gilas Pilipinas pool for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.
Despite leaving Jhocson, Ildefonso gave a toast to NU which he called home for the past two years.
"I would like to thank first and foremost Sir Manny Sy and Sir Hans Sy for all the support they gave me throughout my stay in NU. I would also like to thank the NU community for welcoming me with open arms and for allowing me to represent the school. A big part of my heart will always belong to the Bulldogs and the NU supporters who were with me and the team through the toughest of times," he said.
"It’s never goodbye. No matter where my basketball journey takes me, I will always carry with me the memories and lessons that I gathered while wearing the NU jersey. NU will always be a part of the person that I will become."
Ildefonso will be cleared to play for the Blue Eagles come UAAP Season 84 next year.