21 February 2014

Ildefonso Still With The Bolts

Danny Ildefonso
By Carlo Pamintuan
Yahoo PH Sports, 20 February 2014

A new contract with the Meralco Bolts or retirement: These were the only two choices for two-time PBA Most Valuable Player awardee Danny Ildefonso after his team bowed out in the elimination round of the 2014 PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup.

After his contract with the Petron Blaze Boosters was not renewed entering the ongoing PBA season, Ildefonso contemplated retirement. However, the Bolts decided to give the veteran one more shot.

"When we picked him up late in the conference, we did it for humanitarian reasons," admitted Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio. “He wanted to play and exit gracefully and we allowed our team to be his venue."

With Meralco, Ildefonso rediscovered his old fire as he played like he was many years younger. Having made a statement by performing well with Meralco, Ildefonso was rewarded with a guaranteed contract for the rest of the season, allowing him to chase one last championship before closes the book on his hall-of-fame worthy career.

"After seeing him play, we realized that he has an incredible value in what we are trying to accomplish. He is not washed out and not yet completely over the hill," Gregorio added. "He deserves it. He worked hard to secure a roster spot."

Ildefonso averaged eight points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal, and two blocks per game with the Bolts. He even won the PBA's Player of the Week award during his return.

"He still has it in his system. His competitive drive and fighting spirit have not deserted him. Gregorio said. "That's why we extended him until the end of the season. He has a very inspiring story. I personally feel good that I was given an opportunity to coach a future hall of famer."

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