IN just a little over a decade, Marc Pingris has teamed up with two generations of Ildefonsos. And he's definitely not complaining.
At Gilas Pilipinas practice for the past two weeks, Pingris has been mentoring the national team's young guns — including the youngest on the list, Dave Ildefonso, son of his dear friend and former San Miguel teammate Danny Ildefonso.
“Maliit talaaga ang mundo. Dati naghe-hello-hello lang sa akin ‘yan si Dave, ngayon, siya na ‘yung sinasabihan ko. Sobrang galing na bata, masipag din. Happy ako kasi kung ano ‘yung mga advice dati sakin ng daddy niya, ‘yun din ‘yung mga sinasabi ko sakanya ngayon,” Pingris shared with SPIN Life.
It’s been eleven years since Marc played with the older Ildefonso during their San Miguel days in 2008 to 2009, and he couldn’t help but draw comparisons now that he’s teamed up with Danny I's son in the national team’s 24-man pool.
“Pareho sila ng katawan, tsaka malakas din mag-dunk. Magaling din, nakuha niya katawan ni idol Danny. Ang pinagkaiba lang nila, mas shooter si Dave sa labas,” he added.
Dave, on the other hand, can still clearly recall his early memories with his 'Tito Marc', looking back on those days, many years ago, when he used to play jokes with him in the dugouts.
“Masaya ako na nakasama ko siya dito sa Gilas, kasi naalala ko dati pumupunta kami lagi ng locker room, 10 years ago, tapos nakikita ko yan sila tito pati ibang players. Sobrang liit ko pa non, tsaka, super close sila ni tatay kasi from same province sila [Pangasinan],” the younger Ildefonso said.
Dave added: “Sa mga ganito mo makikita na small world lang talaga ang basketball. Isipin mo, ‘yung teammate ni tatay dati, teammate ko pa ngayon, tinuturuan pa ako.”
Although not included in the final 12 lineup, the 19-year-old swingman revealed that he has no regrets in carving out time from the past two weeks to attend Gilas practice.
“I feel super blessed kasi marami ang nag-mentor sa akin na PBA players, maraming experience talaga ang nakuha ko dito. Ang goal ko pa naman talaga is yung 2023, kaya worth it sobra yung two weeks. Every practice, iba ‘yung level ng competition, and masaya ‘yung training kasi nakakapag-bond ako with older teammates,” he said.
Pingris is also looking forward to greater things from Dave Ildefonso.
He said: “Hindi naman din nagtatapos ‘yung career niya, sa mga ganon talaga makikita ‘yung attitude ng player. Hindi ibig sabihin na ‘pag hindi ka na-lineup, ‘yun na, may nakalaan pa para sa kanya, bata pa naman ‘yan eh.”