Danny Ildefonso’s eight points in 19 minutes against Purefoods won’t be the talk of the town, but for the elder statesman, it’s just the kind of performance he can be proud of in this twilight stage of his career.
Set to retire at the end of the season, all the two-time MVP wants is to go out doing what he does best, helping and elevating his team to victory.
“Nagpapasalamat ako kay God. Answered prayer din sa akin kasi yun ang gusto ko, na kahit paano, makatulong ako at quality minutes yung binigay sa akin ni coach Norman (Black),” he said.
Ildefonso had a throwback performance, to say the least, defending ex-teammate Marc Pingris for the majority of the fourth quarter and even staying on the floor during crunch time, where he even had a crucial basket to give the Bolts an 83-79 lead in the final minute.
“Buo lang yung loob ko,” he recounted. “Nagpakita lang ako kay Andre (Emmett) nung nakuha nya yung steal. Buti na-shoot ko naman.”
And those kinds of plays, ones which made Ildefonso an all-time PBA great, are the ones which the 38-year-old treasures the most.
“Yun ang pinagpepray ko, maging maganda lang yung performance ko para maganda yung retirement sa July, at yung magawa ko kung ano yung ineexpect ng coaches ko sa akin,” he said.
And as he nears the end of his storied career, Ildefonso wants nothing more than to give back the love Meralco have shown him.
“Makatulong lang sa team, para ipakitang sulit yung bayad nila sa akin,” he said. “Yun lang talaga ang goal ko: yung may maiwanan akong maganda dito sa Meralco.”