Two-time Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso will wait for the opportunity to play major minutes and will listen to his body in trying to help out Converge’s campaign in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
Ildefonso suited up for the first time since 2015 as nostalgic fans anticipate the return of the “Demolition Man, who became one of the most dominant big men in the early 2000s while playing for San Miguel Beer.
Already 46 years old, Ildefonso is trying to defy time while looking to set a record alongside his son, Shaun, who now plays for Rain or Shine, as the first father and son who played in the PBA since Robert and Dodot Jaworski, who saw action together for Ginebra until the end of the 1997 season.
But for the elder Ildefonso, he’s not in a rush to return and play a significant role for the FiberXers.
“Nothing to lose (on my return),” said Ildefonso. “At the end of the day, it’s basketball. I’m doing this for the players and I think it will make my teaching easier.”
Before he temporarily left the game, Ildefonso spent time tutoring some of the best big men to play in the PBA, including Marc Pingris and six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.
He spent the past few years joining the coaching staff — first with Alaska, then later on, Converge, the group which took over the Aces’ franchise.
But the eight-time PBA champion shocked the local sporting world when he was reactivated by the FiberXers and suited up against Meralco on Wednesday.
Ildefonso had no issue playing the cameo role in the FiberXers’ 129-132 overtime loss to the Bolts as he felt his body needs to get adjusted first to in-game action.
He only played for four minutes.
“Playing a game is different than regularly attending the team’s workout,” said Ildefonso. “I think it would take probably a couple of weeks before I’ll be ready for the game.”
Ildefonso had at least started to get the feel of what’s like to be back on the hard court and it will only be a matter of time before he gets used to the tough grind.
His decision to return was supported by his family.
“I’m happy because they’re happy for me,” added Ildefonso. “My son, Shaun was telling me, ‘too bad, we didn’t meet (this conference).'”
But this could be a good restart and we won’t be surprised if history repeats itself in the near future.