Whatever happens, young Dave I. thankful to be in Gilas pool for SEA Games

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 22, 2019 07:14 PM
Whatever happens, young Dave I. thankful to be in Gilas pool
(Photo by Josh Albelda)

Just two months ago, Dave Ildefonso was wearing the flag for Gilas Pilipinas Youth in the 2019 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup.

Now, National University's second-year star has a shot to wear the flag anew - only this time, it will be for Gilas Pilipinas Men.

Of course, Ildefonso is nothing but grateful. "I'm really happy, siyempre. Kahit na pool pa lang naman and 'di pa official lineup, masayang-masaya ako na as a 19-year-old kid, I will get to learn and play with a group of talented players," he said.

Indeed, after 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto, the Bulldogs' swingman is the next youngest member of the 24-man pool.

And that's why Ildefonso is well aware he has to work doubly hard to prove he belongs. "I'll prepare for that challenge by giving the coaches what they need from me, what they want from me," he said.

Whatever happens, the 6-foot-3 son of Philippine basketball legend Danny Ildefonso is only glad to have been considered for Gilas. "Of course, no matter the result, masaya akong ni-consider nila pangalan ko kahit para sa pool lang," he said.

Still, if and when Ildefonso makes the cut, then he will be the latest in a long line of players who had a smooth transition from Gilas Youth to Gilas Men. "If that happens, the (Gilas Youth) program should get a lot of credit because they were the ones who saw me and saw the potential in me that I didn't know I had. They groomed me into a better player when it comes to international play," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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