DAVE Ildefonso was destined to play ball, being the son of PBA great Danny.
But did you know that the 19-year old didn't really pattern his game after his dad's, but after those of godfathers Olsen Racela and Danny Seigle.
That's upon the advice of Danny himself.
"Sabi lagi sa akin ni Tatay palagi na kung may gusto kang i-look up na point guard, i-look up ko si Ninong Olsen," Dave said. "Noong prime ni Tatay, kaya siya nakakakuha ng points dahil sa playmaking at IQ ni Ninong Olsen."
Racela and the elder Ildefonso have won seven PBA championships during their time together at San Miguel from 1999 to 2009, with the latter claiming two MVP awards. The two ended up together in a number of Mythical Teams.
Though the young Ildefonso was just a young buck then, he did catch Racela during the twilight of his career with the Beermen and has since tried to emulate the playmaking of "Rah-Rah," as well as the superb wing play of his other godfather, Seigle.
Well, Dave can consider himself lucky. Not a lot of players have a two-time MVP dad like Danny and great players like Racela and Seigle as ninongs.
"Buti na lang, naging ninong ko si Ninong Olsen at Ninong Seigle kasi may mag-guide sa akin as point guard, may mag-guide sa akin na wingman. Blessed ako na ninong ko sila at nandyan sila palagi para magbigay ng guidance," he said.
The godson is doing well enough so far to impress Ninong Olsen.
The sophomore scorer was at the forefront of National University's sweep of a Far Eastern University coached by Racela this season, averaging 23.5 points on a 50-percent clip, alongside 9.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.0 steals.
On Wednesday, lldefonso scored 27 points including key baskets in overtime as the Bulldogs repeated over the Tamaraws, 85-79.
Racela said the young Ildefonso is mature well beyond his years.
"Di ako naniniwalang napakabata pa ng laro niya. He's a mature player, he sees the game differently, and he's not a sophomore anymore," he said. "He makes the right decisions sa loob ng court. Seasoned player na yun kung ganun eh - and this is only his second year."
With his court vision and awareness, the 6-foot-2 Bulldogs sophomore has the skills of a point guard, the PBA great added.
"He sees the whole floor really well and because of that, he makes the right decisions. Some players kasi, isa lang nakikita and because of that, they make bad decisions. Siya, he sees the floor really well - parang point guard na nga siya. They just give him the ball and makes him create and that's the nice thing about Dave," he said.
That's why Racela believes the sky's the limit for Ildefonso.
"Imagine kung anong magagawa pa niya in the years to come," Racela said. "He's really their best player and he showed that today."