Photo by Tristan Tamayo / INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – Dave Ildefonso, one of the best young talents in Filipino basketball, is scheduled to return to the Ateneo de Manila University after two seasons for the National University in the UAAP.
Several sources reported to the Inquirer that former Ateneo junior star and son of PBA legend Danny Ildefonso NU had already asked for permission to leave the Bulldogs with a return to Ateneo soon.
"It will be completed this weekend, but he has already made the decision (to return to Ateneo)," said the source, who was initiated into the process of Ildefonso's move.
READ: Talented Dave Ildefonso moving out of the Bulldogs camp?
The Bulldogs had tried to persuade Ildefonso to stay because he was still entitled to three more years and no less than NU chairman Hans Sy would meet Ildefonso before Christmas.
But a revision of the coaching, which also saw his father, an assistant coach, forced Dave to rethink his situation.
Goldwyn Monteverde has taken over the coaching job for Bulldogs and replaces Jamike Jarin. Dave's older brother, Shaun, will play his last year of Bulldogs approval next season.
Sources also confirmed that the younger Ildefonso also met Ateneo trainer Tab Baldwin at the end of last month.
Baldwin tried to recruit Ildefonso two years ago after an outstanding high school career. He was called to the Mythical Five and won a UAAP junior championship with several current Ateneo players like SJ Belangel.
At Ildefonso's first meeting with the Eagles in his rookie season two years ago, Baldwin was controversial when he said that part of the Eagles' motivation to hit the Bulldogs was for Ildefonso to reconsider or decide to go with it wondering why he made the decision to move to NU.
"We will continue to show on the square hoping that all of our recruits will take note of it and think this is the right place," Baldwin said.
Ildefonso replied that he had not made a wrong decision and changed schools. Baldwin later apologized for his statements. "My intention was to highlight the competitive nature of the recruitment," he said. "I didn't want Dave, his family, or the NU team and the community to be dissatisfied with my answer."
But two failed Final Four offers for the Bulldogs and two championships later for the Blue Eagles, Baldwin and Ildefonso are finally on the same page.
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