Honing his craft to become an international player prompted Dave Ildefonso to secure his release from National University and transfer to Ateneo de Manila University.
A source close to the Ildefonso family confirmed that the son of Philippine Basketball Association great Danny Ildefonso is heading back to Ateneo following Season 82 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
The insider said being under noted Kiwi-American coach Tab Baldwin is a golden opportunity for the 19-year-od Ildefonso to develop into a world-class player.
“He really loves to play for coach Tab and he thinks he can play well for the Blue Eagles,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“It will be a great challenge for him as Ateneo has great talents and is a champion team.”
Ildefonso is no stranger to Ateneo.
In fact, he had a stellar career with the school’s junior program, where he was even named as part of the Mythical Team in Season 79.
But with his father joining Jamike Jarin at National University, Ildefonso pulled off a shocker when he decided to join the Bulldogs.
After three fruitless seasons, the Bulldogs dropped Jarin and his staff, prompting the young Ildefonso to revisit his commitment and search for opportunities somewhere.
“Ateneo really stood out among his options,” the source said.
“He decided to go there because he always thinks of playing in the international stage and he believes that Ateneo can help him achieve that.”
The source added that Ildefonso has to redshirt in Season 83 before seeing action in 2021.
Right now, he will make his international debut when he plays for Mighty Sport in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament starting 23 January.
“Dave is excited to go back to his roots and once again wear the Ateneo uniform,” the source said.
“This will be great chance for him the level up his talent.”