Dave Ildefonso says decision to play in Korea also benefits family, national team
MANILA, Philippines—When Dave Ildefonso was given the chance to play overseas, he took into account the family’s heritage in basketball, which made his decision much easier.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Ildefonso turned sentimental as his Korean Basketball League debut for Suwon KT Sonicboom looms.
“When the opportunity to play in Korea opened itself up to me, I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions—excitement and fear. But it was a healthy fear,” said Ildefonso.
“I asked myself what’s best not just for me but for my family and the people around me. That is when the decision became easier to make,” he explained further.
Being the son of the PBA legend Danny Ildefonso, Dave was dealt with the expectations of being great in collegiate ball.
The expectations were exceeded after the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, when he helped Ateneo reclaim the title from University of the Philippines in December.
He averaged 12 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in the Blue Eagles’ title run, which made him coveted at the professional level.
But he did not take his father’s route. Instead, Dave wanted to expand the Ildefonso name overseas.
He committed with Suwon in the KBL, not too long after winning his first and only collegiate ring.
“I believe that my stint in Korea will not only benefit me but will also give my family pride. It will be great for both our national basketball program and our professional league for young guys like me to experience first-hand the basketball culture of other countries,” the 22-year-old cager bared.
Now, he is awaiting the league’s go-signal and his completion of player requirements to officially be able to suit up for KT Sonicboom.
The soonest he is projected to play will be after the All-Star festivities next week. The wingman will be included in a lineup with former PBA import Lester Prosper.
He was officially welcomed by the team on Sunday before the squad’s 89-83 defeat at the hands of Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus.
The six-foot guard/forward concluded his IG post with gratitude for his previous teams and huge support from his fans.
“I would like to thank everyone who made this journey not just possible but also with me; my family and their unending support, Ateneo and NU programs and coaches I’ve played under, my teammates and fans who supported me all the way.”