Legend’s son gets dream shot at carving own niche
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) great Danny Ildefonso was over the moon on Sunday after seeing his son Shaun get drafted into the league that he once dominated.
“This is truly a dream come true,” he told reporters shortly after the proceedings at Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita. “I’ve been hoping to have a son play in the [PBA] ever since. So this one’s an answered prayer, really.”
Ildefonso’s son, Shaun, was drafted 10th overall by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, where he joins No. 5 pick Gian Mamuyac and reunites with a couple of former Ateneo high school teammates Matt Nieto and Anton Asistio.
“We were overjoyed when we heard his name called. We couldn’t stop our tears. Tears of joy because it was really an answered prayer for both him and us,” the two-time PBA Most Valuable Player said.
All the older Ildefonso wanted was for his son to land on a team that would allow him to contribute. There was no team preference whatsoever, added the Converge assistant coach.
And that’s something also shared by Shaun, a wide-bodied but undersized forward who has added a perimeter game to move away from the basket where bigger guys roam.
Also chosen by Gilas
“I believe that I’m here for a reason,” he said. “I believe that whatever hard work you put in is going to be rewarded by God. Whatever happens [from here on out] I will give this my all, including the intangibles.
“If Rain or Shine ever needs a role player, I’ll do whatever it takes,” Shaun added.
On top of being selected in the first round, the young Ildefonso was also tapped by national cage program director and head coach Chot Reyes as one of the four new additions to the Gilas Pilpinas talent pool.
“I keep on telling myself that I believe in myself, in my craft. This is indescribable. I have no words. This is surreal,” he said.
The revelries, without a doubt, aren’t dying down any time soon, but both father and son know that it’s going to be all business once the new season rolls around.
“It will be different by then. That’s our jobs,” said Danny, now 46. “At home, I’m a father. But when we’re on the court, we’re opponents.”
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