KAI Sotto isn’t the only one who is excited that he will now be under the tutelage of Danny Ildefonso, the new big man coach of the Ateneo high school basketball team.
His dad, too.
The 13-year-old Ateneo big man said he is looking forward to being mentored by the two-time PBA MVP, who late in his career had taken Cebuano big man June Mar Fajardo under his wings during their time together at San Miguel.
Sotto said even his father, former PBA player Ervin, became excited when he heard about the news that his former teammate at SMB will now be among those overseeing his 6-foot-9 son's development.
Ildefonso and the elder Sotto played together at SMB during the 2011-2012 PBA season.
“Idol na idol siya ng Daddy ko,” said the younger Sotto. “Sabi ng Daddy ko, ‘Kai, suwerte ka kasi ‘yung big man coach si Danny I. Idol ko siya dati kaya sumunod ka kay Tito Danny mo.’”
The former San Miguel and Meralco cager said he was welcomed with open arms by other members of the Ateneo staff in his first foray into the coaching ranks following his retirement.
Even though Ildefonso is only on the job for a week, Kai said he is already getting advice from the PBA legend, who expressed willingness to be a mentor to the future big men of Philippine basketball.
“Magaling magturo si Tito Danny. Sabi niya sa akin, lagi lang itaas ‘yung bola kasi maliliit ang mga kalaban,” said Kai, who scored four points in his first game with the Blue Eaglets during the Filoil preseason tournament against San Beda on Saturday.