Dave Ildefonso eyes better showing in first full season in Korean Basketball League
MANILA, Philippines — Dave Ildefonso is determined to play better for the Suwon KT Sonicboom as he gets to experience a full Korean Basketball League season later this year.
The former Ateneo star is enjoying his two-month vacation in the country. He watched the PBA games of his brother Shaun of Rain or Shine and his father Danny, who is an assistant coach in Converge, on Wednesday.
With his vacation about to end, Ildefonso is bracing for Suwon’s build-up for the 2023-24 season, hoping to get a renewal as his contract is set to expire next year.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back because my contract is expiring. So hopefully, I can renew or maybe find different opportunities in different countries that are open for me,” Ildefonso told reporters in Filipino during the PBA on Tour on Wednesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“I just finished half [season], then I went home right away after that. Hopefully after this season, there’s a negotiation. I also hope to have a better performance this season,” he added.
Dave Ildefonso shares his future plans and his thoughts on his sister Pia entering the pros in the PVL.
After helping Ateneo regain the UAAP championship last December in Season 85, the 23-year-old winger took his act to South Korea and only played 21 games, where he averaged 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists, with Suwon placing eighth with 21-33 record.
Ildefonso is eager to make the most of his full offseason with the Sonicboom, looking to get used to everything in Korea and improve his skills, especially his conditioning.
“It’s really a different game there, it’s faster. The climate is also different, it’s tiring and it can hinder conditioning,” he said. “Once you overcome that obstacle, everything is easy. I think it’s better if I experience a full season this year so I can adjust and improve my game.”
‘PBA WILL ALWAYS BE THERE’
Getting a contract extension is one of his main goals next KBL season but the 6-foot Ildefonso is not closing his doors on other opportunities also in Japan and Taiwan.
“Right now, there’s a lot of opportunities for the young upcoming hoopers,” Ildefonso said. “I think it’s getting better with Thirdy (Ravena) as our trailblazer. Hopefully, we get to inspire other people and other players the way Thirdy did.”
The former Blue Eagle is also eyeing to play in the PBA someday as he agreed with his fellow KBL import Rhenz Abando’s statement on the league lifting the sit-out sanctions for overseas-based players.
“Whatever Rhenz said, that’s also what I’m going to say. PBA will always be there. Philippines, I grew up here. This is home,” he said. “Of course down the road I want to play in the PBA, and I want to finish my career in the PBA. Eventually I’ll get to play, hopefully.”
His father, Danny, who was beside him during the interview, said he will support his son wherever he wants to play as their family will always want the best for him.