After coaching first game, Ildefonso says he has no plans of becoming head coach
There’s no need for any argument that Danny Ildefonso is one of the greatest Filipino basketball players of all time.
Ildefonso is a two-time PBA MVP, eight-time PBA champion and is a five-time Best Player of the Conference, tied with his student June Mar Fajardo atop that list.
It’s hard for someone of Ildefonso’s caliber to feel any pressure inside a basketball court, but that happened on Sunday when he subbed in for the suspended Jamike Jarin as National University’s head coach in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.
And although NU took a 91-83 victory against University of Santo Tomas, Ildefonso knew coaching is far from him.
“I really don’t have any ambition to be a head coach,” said Ildefonso in Filipino at Filoil Flying V Centre. “Honestly, coaching’s not for me.”
“Coach Jamike knows it but he told me that I wasn’t exactly geared for that path. But let’s see. Only God knows where I’ll end up.”
NU trailed, 43-40, at the end of the first half and it was in the first 20 minutes of the game that Ildefonso looked rattled, a far cry from his days as the PBA’s Demolition Man.
“During the first half I was really nervous, being a player is really different from being a coach. As a player, I immediately knew what to do with a ball, but as a coach there are so many players that you have to look at. And you also have to look at your opponents.”
NU’s captain Matt Salem may have given Ildefonso a “10 over 10” mark in the legendary player’s debut as head coach, the San Miguel icon humbly gave himself a less impressive grade.
“To be honest, as a coach I’ll give myself a really low grade,” said Ildefonso.
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