Dave Ildefonso declares for PBA Draft

Dave Ildefonso's PBA plans are coming to fruition sooner than expected. Strong Group Athletics
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG--Dave Ildefonso is throwing his hat to the PBA Draft.

The six-foot-four guard made the announcement during Strong Group Athletics' open practice on Wednesday night at the Gatorade Hoops Center.

"It's always in my long-term plan to be in the PBA and stay here," Ildefonso said, adding that he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father Danny, one of the league's top centers during the late 90s and the 2000s.

The younger Ildefonso, who was let go by the KBL's Suwon Sonicboom during the offseason, is joining Strong Group for the Jones Cup, which now turns out to be his pit stop before embarking on a PBA career.

According to him, he pounced on the opportunity as no one had picked him up from free agency.

"Naisip ko lang, 'OK, wala na akong offers abroad. Ito na,'" he further said, although the 24-year-old guard admitted that his PBA plans came five years too soon as he said he planned to still play abroad and just declare for the draft by 2029.

However, he clarified that he still wants to play overseas, but he added he will finish first his commitment to the team that would draft him.

"Let's say if I will sign a two or three-year contract and after that tapos na, so I would try and look abroad kung meron mang opportunities," Ildefonso said.

He said that he had not yet formally applied for the draft, but he is expected to officially submit his application before the deadline on Thursday.

Ildefonso, projected to be selected in the first round, added that he would prefer getting picked by either Converge to join his dad, Rain Or Shine to join his older brother Shaun, or San Miguel to continue his father's legacy.

The FiberXers are selecting first in the draft, while the Elasto Painters have two first-round picks, their default pick which is set to be the eighth selection and a draft pick that originally belonged to the TNT Tropang Giga, which will be the seventh pick.

The Beermen, on the other hand, have the 12th overall pick, one of the few times in recent years that they hold a first-round selection.

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