NATIONAL University incoming rookie Dave Ildefonso may have joined his father, PBA legend Danny, and older brother Shaun in the Bulldogs camp, but he's the first to admit he's getting no special treatment.
Ildefonso recently committed to suit up for NU in the UAAP seniors division after his successful high school stint with Ateneo, where he helped the Blue Eaglets capture the Season 80 juniors basketball title. But he understood why his father seemed stricter on him since his transfer to the Bulldogs.
“I think he has been harder on me because it’s what I really need,” said Ildefonso of his father, following Sunday’s SLAM Rising Stars Classic. “The transition from high school to college is really tough. He just wants the best for me and I understand.”
The 18-year-old Ildefonso said he is still groping for form as he transitions to NU even though he's already played for the Bulldogs in three games in the Got Skills and TIP offseason tournaments.
“Unang game, naghahabol pa ako ng hinga ko kasi hindi pa ako kundisyon gaano. Medyo naguguluhan pa ako sa mga plays because I’ve practiced only once. Pero it’s been good kahit mahirap ‘yung transition from captain to rookie,” said Ildefonso, who looks forward to being a key contributor to the Bulldogs in the years to come.
“What NU gave me was a chance to make an impact to the school and change the culture. I want to do it with my father and my brother,” he added.
After playing in the Slam Rising Stars Classic, Ildefonso looks forward to another All-Star game this time in the NBTC. His stint in the NBTC All-Star Game is made all the more challenging as he takes on former Ateneo teammates Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, and Blue Eaglets coach Joe Silva.
“It was really fun. It’s an honor and a privilege to get to play. I’m really blessed that I’m part of that. It’s God’s plan so I’m thankful and very blessed to be on the fortunate side of athletes," he said of the Slam Rising Stars Classic.
“Siyempre you want to win and end your high school career with a bang especially on national television. I really want to win. Gusto ko rin makalaban din sila coach Joe, Kai, and SJ. Pataasan ng pride na lang ‘yan,” added Ildefonso with a smile.