09 September 2014

Bolts Trading Back Danny I?

When Meralco Bolts drop veteran Danny Ildefonso in the unprotected list last July 2014, the two expansion teams were hoping to make the 37-year old center their top pick in the dispersal draft. That honor eventually went to Blackwater Sports, which immediately gave the team somebody to lead their young roster.

However, the honeymoon was short-lived. Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy was reported to be mulling a trade involving Ildefonso after he learned that the 6-5 veteran wants out of his team.

Contract negotiations between Ildefonso and Blackwater management fell through a few weeks ago, prompting the two-time PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) to try and find ways to leave the team and consider going back to Meralco, his former mother ballclub.

A source from Blackwater claimed that Ildefonso is asking for a PhP 300,000 a month as payment for being the team’s court leader and resident big-man trainer.

"I’m not going to release Danny I., but I’m interested to trade him with any team,” was the brief response of Sy to Spin.ph.

The statement could have been the trigger that compelled newcomers NLEX Warriors and Blackwater Sports to arrange for a trade. Meralco was the other team being considered to make the trade more interesting.

Rumor has it that the deal will include Ildefonso, Bolts veteran guard Sunday Salvacion and journeyman center Jason Ballesteros. The deal was supposed to ship the two Bolts player to the Ever Bilena franchise. In return, Blackwater will send Juneric Baloria to NLEX, while NLEX forward Sean Anthony and Ildefonso plus draft picks will go to Meralco.

However, the deal may have to undergo some changes after it was learned that Meralco is no longer keen on retaining the former Ildefonso. No report was released at this time on what the final trade package will look like.

When Ildefonso played for the Bolts last season, he averaged career lows of 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21 games.

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