Danny Ildefonso still getting his rhythm back in return from retirement
MANILA, Philippines–Danny Ildefonso admitted that he needs a lot of catching up after coming out of retirement to play sparring minutes in Converge’s 132-129 overtime loss to Meralco on Friday.
Ildefonso played only all of his four minutes in the first quarter of the PBA Governors’ Cup game at Smart Araneta Coliseum, but it was obvious that the 46-year-old is still far from game shape.
“You see that my body still has a delayed reaction,” Ildefonso said when asked about his first play since he was inserted three minutes into the contest—allowing Cliff Hodge to score a layup with a foul to boot.
“I told myself that I just wanted to try since I have nothing to lose and temper my expectations since I’m just here for a few weeks just to help the team,” the FiberXers assistant coach added in Filipino.
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) March 3, 2023
The two-time Most Valuable Player didn’t tell exactly what triggered him to make a comeback despite having been retired since 2015 and already focusing on the role of being a part of coach Aldin Ayo’s staff at Converge.
He hopes that things can get better as the conference continues, even if Converge is now on the outside looking in as far as the race for the twice-to-beat advantage is concerned.
Converge lost a second straight game to fall in a tie with Meralco for fifth at 6-4 with Barangay Ginebra next on Sunday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
“It’s different being in practice and being on the court playing. It really is. We’ll see in this next two to three weeks if I can be in shape,” he said.
His decision, Ildefonso said, has the full backing of his family, particularly his son Shaun, who is currently a rookie at Rain or Shine. The two, however, won’t be facing each other this conference since the two teams already met earlier in the eliminations.
“Shaun said it would have been nice that we faced each other. He joked that he would show me some of his moves,” the elder Ildefonso said.