Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside Philippines


Making the jump from the youth to seniors, Dave Ildefonso hopes to crack Gilas Final 12

by Reynald Magallon, February 12, 2020 11:03am

He may be one of the youngest in the Gilas 24-man pool right now but certainly, Dave Ildefonso is not the type who's gonna back down to the competition.

The second generation cager, son of PBA great Danny Ildefonso was named to the pool for the February window and he is eyeing nothing less than a spot in the Final 12.

"Mindset ko is makuha talaga dun sa 12 man kahit 1 game man lang kasi ito yung pinaka mataas na level ng competition sa Pilipinas e excluding yung PBA," said the now Ateneo Blue Eagle.

"International competition is really a different beast, a different animal so just being able to practice with these guys is gonna be better for my career as a player," he added.

Ildefonso was one among the collegiate standouts who were named into the pool as part of the country's preparation for the 2023 World Cup which the country will be co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia.

Also named to the pool were some of the finest PBA stars to reinforce the team in their games against Thailand and Indonesia.

Aside from a spot in the final roster, Ildefonso is also looking forward learning to the likes of CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena and Marc Pingris.

"Syempre masaya kasi being one of the youngest atleast nakasali ako sa pool and experience naman talaga yung gusto ko makuha and yun nga sana ma-break ko man lang yung 12-man line up malaking tulong na sakin yun," said Ildefonso.

The former Gilas youth member also bared that the transition from Batang Gilas to Gilas Men had been smooth especially with the help of the veterans in the teama and as well as the coaches.

"Sa transition ko malaking tulong yung mabibigay sakin ng mga kuya ko and yung mga older guys and mainstays na talaga sa Gilas and yung mga coaches kasi alam naman nila na I'm one of the youngest and I really need help and parang UAAP Juniors lang to UAAP seniors e, iba talaga yung competition and mga tao mas matanda na and mas skillful," he explained.

While representing the country isn't new for the 19 year old shooting guard, he admitted that donning the Gilas jersey in the senior level gives him a different chill.

"Dream ko yun ever since youth ko pa gusto ko talaga ma-represent yung Philippines sa basketball and looking at these guys, CJ, Kiefer, Troy, Tito Marc nakakataba ng puso na ang layo na pala ng narating ko kahit sobrang bata ko lang."

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