31 July 2015

Ironcoach On Danny Ildefonso's Tanduay Deal

Danny Ildefonso
Among the things that will make a PBA analyst a 'must-listen' person are experience and candor. Fans want to hear from someone who has spent decades around the sport, and they also want someone who is not afraid to tell the truth, even if that means sometimes burning a bridge in the service of the basketball followers.

And while plenty of former coaches, managers and agents these days pull punches because they want to maintain relationships, coach Lawrence Chongson is not afraid to speak his mind. He may have not won any major titles, but he definitely deserves to be someday named to the Hall of Fame. And he has dealt with some of the worse controversies hounding the PBA since it started more than 40 years ago.

It is not certain if a broadcasting future interests him, but I bet that everyone who listens and reads his pieces gained something important.

The former coach of the University of the East Red Warriors in the UAAP and current coach of Tanduay in the PBA D-League has graced a few of us mortals with valuable knowledge in the popular message board community Pinoy Exchange (PEx).

From his take on dress codes, favorite cars, team violations, player infractions, silent treatment of farm teams, lopsided trades, unfair payment schedules, microfiber basketballs to greasing the wheels of the PBA management, all of these can be found in a separate thread at PEx.

What I am doing here is just a first attempt to organize everything that coach Chongson started and make sense of the rich resource available at PEx. And we start the ball rolling by tackling the issue a few years ago regarding the mega-buck and multi-year offer of Tanduay to then promising slotman, Danny Ildefonso.

In 2001, Bong Tan, offered Danny Ildefonso an eye-popping Php 96 million, 16-year offer, something that was done "out of the box" but nothing illegal - until the PBA Board stepped in and ruled otherwise. Ironcoach has something to do with this offer.
"And at that time, Danny I had already signed our offer sheet, therefore, as per PBA rule then (no idea na ako kung binago narin yan ngayon), Danny I's mother team had a certain number of days (was it 5?) to match our offer.

A phone call later on from the late Comm. Jun B to Mr. Bong Tan asking (instructing?) to make some revisions on our offer to Danny I sent the latter to hit the ceiling in disgust, while spewing fire from all angles that didn't care who it hits.

Until now, well, at least every now and then whenever me and my dear boss would down a bottle of Shiraz while we go down memory lane..he'd still be telling me of how ingenious that contract offer was and in the same breath express that he doesn't regret executing that move 1 bit.

And if we were to turn back the hands of time..he'd still do the same thing."
The PBA Board came out with two gentlemen's agreement after the Danny Ildefonso saga: 1) for teams to offer only a maximum of 3 years per contract for a player; and 2) that offer sheets will not be allowed anymore. Ironically, these agreements did not help Paul Lee (client of Ironcoach) get a much better deal from other teams.
"Well, i understand that you were just implying the effects of actions past to that of the present but lets not look too far away from the principal character in this episode..Danny I himself.

He's been in the news lately for: 1) getting banished from SMC into the waiting arms of the Meralco Bolts 2) being sent to the dispersal pool by the Bolts 3) getting picked by expansion team Blackwater then later offered no more than PhP 200,000 4) was unhappy with the offer then mulled about retirement 5) etc.

To think that if only history didn't get derailed or tampered upon by powerful hands, Danny I should still be picking up PhP 500,000/month paychecks for the next 3 and a half years.

Now who's left to defend him from that injustice?? The PBA? the players association? SMC?? Me??

I’m pretty sure my boss would rather we just dip our lips into some good ol' Cabernet and perhaps mull on what could've been but only after a bottle or 2."
A few years after the PBA ruling, the Tans left the PBA and allowed it to be dominated by the Cojuangcos, Pangilinans, and Angs.
"Things (and plans) change everyday. For one, i didn't think we'd get back PAL either.

As far as I’m concerned wala sa radar namin ang bumalik sa PBA anytime soon unless "tadhana" takes over again.

Kung minsan yang tadhana eh maharot. Malay din natin tadhana ang nagtulak sa akin to only sign Paul Lee to 2-year pact … eh baka bumalik ang Tanduay sa PBA after 2 years

Just like itong kay Roi Sumang. Ako ang nag-recruit dyan para sa UE back in 2009. After failing to hurdle his acceleration exams twice, naging eligible lang siya makapaglaro sa UAAP nung wala na ako dun.

And now fast forward to 2014, umabot pa mandin sa akin si Sumang in the 2nd Round of the D-League rookie draft.

Suma-tutal, I'll be officially coaching him 5 years after i first recruited him.

Talk about irony."
And his parting shot about loyalties in the professional league:
"The loyalty factor by professional players plying their trade in a professional league should've died with "The Alvin Teng SMC/Pepsi Comedy Show" decades ago.

And "professional" fans should've been aware that professional players will play to the best of their capabilities with the professional team that have engaged their services whoever these may be as long as they sign the checks.

Leave loyalty to the school leagues. Thats just the way it is in professional sports."

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